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U17 World Cup: African expectations

Sénégal U17
U17 World Cup: African expectations

The Under-17 World Cup kicks off this Friday, November 10, in Indonesia. With four representatives (Senegal, Morocco, Mali and Burkina Faso), Africa will be looking to do well. The African representatives will be hoping to repeat the exploits of Nigeria and Ghana, the only two countries on the continent to have won the trophy once.

The U17 World Cup kicks off this Friday, November 10, in Indonesia. Without its flagship representative, Nigeria (5-time world champions), Africa nevertheless presents some serious contenders. Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Morocco will attempt to follow in the footsteps of Nigeria and Ghana, the continent's only winners of the trophy.

Senegal eagerly awaited

Senegal enter the tournament as reigning African champions.Naturally, the Cubs will be eagerly awaited. They could, however, ride the good wave of Senegalese soccer and create an exploit at this competition. What's more, Senegal have a gem in their ranks capable of making the difference at any moment: Amara Diouf. The Génération Foot nugget flew through the U17 AFCON. With his 5 goals, the Senegalese striker finished as the competition's top scorer. He is also one of the world's top 30 U17 players. Amara Diouf also became the youngest Senegalese player to play a match with the senior national team at the age of 15 (against Rwanda, 1-1 last September). Which just goes to show what a lethal weapon the Cubs have at their disposal. Serigne Saliou Dia's men will, however, have to show a great deal of maturity. This is only Senegal's second appearance at the tournament, and they may lack experience. In Pool D with Poland, Argentina and Japan, the Senegalese will have to fight hard to get through the group phase. Their first match is against Argentina on Saturday November 11 at 12pm GMT.


Mali's experience

In the absence of Nigeria and Ghana, Mali is the most experienced African nation of the 4. Les Aiglons have reached 4 semi-finals and one final in 6 participations. The Malians could therefore rely on their experience to shine at this 19th edition.Fourth at the last CAN U17, Mali kick off their global campaign this Friday November 10 against Uzbekistan. Soumaïla Coulibaly's team will then take on Spain (Monday November 13) before finishing with Canada (Thursday November 16).

Morocco, riding the wave of Moroccan soccer success

Like Senegal, Morocco is also riding a wave of success. With the Atlas Lions' historic qualification for the semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Lionesses' qualification for the final of the 2022 African Women's Cup of Nations and the Round of 16 of the 2023 Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, and the U23 national team's triumph at the 2023 African Cup of Nations, soccer in the Kingdom of Morocco has been enjoying resounding success for almost 2 years now.Finalists at the last U17 AFCON, the Lion Cubs will be aiming to keep the country's colors flying high. Lodged in Group A, they face Panama this Friday November 10 at 9:00 GMT. The two teams had already met at the 2013 edition, held in the United Arab Emirates. The Atlas Cubs came away with a comprehensive 4-2 victory. They could draw inspiration from this success to overcome the Panamanians before facing Ecuador (November 13) and Indonesia (November 16).

Burkina Faso, the underdogs

Burkina Faso are in Group E alongside France, South Korea and the USA. A fairly tough group.However, the Stallions can draw on their recent AFCON success to play spoilsport.Burkina Faso defeated giant Nigeria in the quarter-finals (1-2) before finishing 3rd ahead of Mali (2-1). These outstanding performances have enabled the Etalons to qualify for the U17 World Cup. They face France in the opening match this Sunday, November 12 at 9am GMT.They will then face the United States (November 15) before finishing against South Korea (November 18).

The U17 World Cup takes place in Indonesia from November 10 to December 2. Twenty-four teams are competing. The top two teams in each group and the four best 3rd-placed teams will qualify for the Round of 8.


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