Five Unforgettable Stories Of 2023 U-17 AFCON – 5 Of 5 For Senegal
When the fourteenth edition of the U-17 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) kick-started in Algeria three weeks ago, bookmakers never gave them a chance to surpass their previous record of the round of eight.
Focus was on previous champions like Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Cameroon, until they stunned even the bookmakers, surpassing previous records in style.
The Teranga Cubs of Senegal have written their names in history books and have confirmed Senegal’s football golden generation.
Coming into the tournament as runners-up at the WAFU A tournament which they lost on penalties to Mali, The young Lions of Teranga were determined to conquer Africa just like their senior colleagues who already did at all levels of African male football but not many saw that determination prior to the commencement of the tournament.
Game after game, the Cubs of Teranga established themselves as forces to be reckoned with, until they eventually clinched their first-ever U-17 African Cup of Nations title.
A big congratulations to Senegal. That’s an indication that the tournament has come and gone, but we were left with amazing memories that will last for decades from the 14th edition of the AFCON hosted by Algeria.
In this article, CitySports NG highlights those unforgettable stories that emanate from the just concluded U-17 AFCON in Algeria.
- Victor Osimhen’s Record Broken – Eight years ago, Nigeria forward, Victor Osimhen, set a new U-17 AFCON record with four goals in the 2015 edition, emerging the highest goal scorer of all-time at that level until the 2023 edition, where Senegal skipper, Amara Diouf clinched the Golden Boot after he scored five goals in the tournament seeing him break Victor Osimhen’s record. (Amara Diouf five goals, Victor Osimhen goals)
- The Most Important Two Goals In Four Minutes – Senegal were on the back foot against Morocco until ten minutes to the end of the game during the final at the Nelson Mandela Stadium, Algeria, when Serigne Fallou Diouf converted an equalizer from the penalty spot before Mamadou Sawane added the second 4 minutes later. It was an unexpected dramatic comeback for Senegal as Morocco who had enjoyed one goal lead for eighty minutes lost their rhythm afterward. It was in fact a dramatic turnaround that often occur in the game of Football and that’s why we love this game of soccer.
- First-time finalists and first-time Champions Emerge – Neither Senegal nor Morocco, the two finalists of the 2023 U-17 AFCON have been in the final before or won the title. Hence prior to the final game, it was certain that new champions would emerge, and indeed, it is the Cubs of Teranga who emerged as the new Kings of African Football at the U-17 level.
- Five Of Five For Senegal – It is no longer news that the Teranga Lions of Senegal are the kings of African male football, and with the U-17 title won for the first time, Senegal has now won a third consecutive continental title within four months, their team of locally based players having won the Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) title in February at the same venue of their conquest for the first U-17 AFCON title, while they also won the U20 AFCON title in Egypt in March.
Prior to that, Senegalese’s senior national team began the continental dominance last February when they clinched the AFCON 2021 crown then continued with an AFCON Beach Soccer title later in the year.
This is a confirmation that Senegal’s ‘Golden Generation’ are born and they are making the West African country proud indeed.
5. Senegal Dominate 2023 AFCON Individual Awards
Aside from being crowned the Champions, Senegal also dominated the individual award at the just concluded U-17 tournament in Algeria.