Somalia’s Ocean Stars are the TotalEnergies U17 African Cup of Nations 2023 Algeria – CECAFA Zone Qualifiers champions after beating South Sudan 3-1 in the finals of a lively match played at Abebe Bikila Stadium, Addis Ababa on Saturday afternoon.
Somalia were quick on the break with star player Abdihafid Abdi pouncing on poor defending to slot home the first goal in the 6th minute followed by “Ronaldo-like” celebrations, a score line that stood to the half time break.
Two minutes after the breather, Sudan pulled a leveller. The goal seemed to have energized the South Sudan side as they poured forward to pile pressure on the Somali side but it would be the latter who, on a quick break, exchanged neat passes to score the second goal.
South Sudan were not giving up and from a free kick in the 69th minute, a goalline saved Somalia from conceding another goal.
The blue clad Somalia fans who packed one side of the stadium erupted in the 71st minute when in another well worked counterattack, a lob past an advancing South Sudan keeper made it 3-1.
By reaching the final, both teams secured a berth in the 2023 TotalEnergies U17 Africa Cup of Nations which will be held in Algeria.
In a third-place playoff match played earlier, Uganda U17 fell 4-1 on penalties to Tanzania U17 after both teams settled for 1-1 score line during normal playtime.
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