Somalia beat South Sudan to win CECAFA U-17 title

Surprise package Somalia have defeated South Sudan to emerge champions of the TotalEnergies U-17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 qualifiers for the CECAFA Zone.

Coach Nur Mohamed Amin’s team defeated South Sudan 3-1 in the final played at the Abebe Bikila Stadium in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Saturday.

After stopping favourites Uganda at the semi final stage and qualifying for the U-17 AFCOn 2023, the Somalia team cheered on by over 200 Somalians living in Ethiopia came all out and dominated play and emerged victorious.

Abdihafid Mohamed Abdi put Somalia ahead after only 7 minutes. But the South Sudan team fought back strongly and leveled matters after 48 minutes through Ajo Minari Alex Lomoro.

The Somalia team continued to dominate the match and defended well. It was Abdirahin Mohamed Dahir who netted two more goals to ensure his team makes history by winning the first regional title.

“This is a very sweet win for us,” said a happy Abdulle Abdullahi Abdulle, Somalia’s captain. The Somalia team coach Amin who was in tears was all praise for his players. “I told the people back home that we would win the title,” said Amin.

The South Sudan coach Bilal Felix Komoyangi said although they had lost in the final, his boys had put-up a good show and qualified for the U-17 AFCON 2023.

In an earlier play-off match the Tanzania U-17 beat a 10-man Uganda Cubs team 4-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in 90 minutes. Substitute Farouk Lubega put Uganda ahead at the stroke of half time.

But after the interval the goal scorer for Uganda Lubega was sent-off, and Tanzania leveled matters through Ally Omar. The Tanzanian team converted all their four penalties, while Tanzania’s goalkeeper Alexander Mwakapambika saved two spot kicks to help his team win 4-1.

CAF Third Vice President Souleiman Hassan Waberi graced the final and the awards ceremony. CECAFA President Wallace Karia, Ethiopia Football Federation President Isayas Jira, Eritrea Football Federation President Abraham Esayas, Burundi Football Federation President Alexandre Muyenge and the Somali Football Federation Acting President Ali Abdi Mohamed also attended the final.

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