Senegal reached the quarterfinals of the TotalEnergies U17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) for the first time in their history after thrashing hosts Algeria 3-0 at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algiers on Tuesday.
In the previous two times, they have played in the tournament, the Teranga Cubs have bowed out at the group stage, but this year, they have shown an impressive improvement, with their second win in Group A moving to six points.
They become the first team to make the last eight, while hosts Algeria, will now need to win their last group match against Congo to qualify for the quarterfinals automatically.
Skipper Amara Diouf starred for Senegal with a brace and an assist, with the Senegalese keeping their second consecutive clean sheet.
Senegal broke the deadlock right at the stroke of halftime when Diouf towered for a header at the backpost, connecting to a Lassana Traore corner.
Before the goal, Senegal had two of the best chances in the opening 45 minutes. In the 16th minute, Omar Sall was put through by a brilliant Mamadou Lamine Sadio through the pass, but his effort was saved by the keeper’s trailing leg.
On the half-hour mark, Algeria’s Abdelhak Ben Idder cleared the ball off the line to keep out Yaya Dieme’s header from a corner.
In the second half, Algeria were faster off the blocks, but their hunt for an equalizer suffered a hit on the hour mark when Senegal scored their second through Diouf’s penalty.
The lanky Sall had been brought down by keeper Mastias Hammache as he raced down for a through ball, and Diouf made no mistake with the resultant penalty.
The West Africans dominated proceedings and they sealed the victory with five minutes left, substitute Mamadou Sawane tapping home from close range after being set up by a cutback from his skipper Diouf.