Senegal has started their TotalEnergies U17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Algeria 2023 campaign with a bang as they secured a 1-0 victory over Congo in their opening match.
The winning goal was scored by defender Serigne Fallou Diouf with just 12 minutes remaining in the game.
It was a tense match, and both teams had their chances to score. However, it was Senegal’s goalkeeper Serigne Diouf who made the biggest contribution of the game.
He saved a penalty in the 22nd minute, which gave his team the confidence to push for the win.
The Senegalese continued to press for the opener in the second half, and their captain Amara Diouf saw his header hit the bar in the 68th minute.
Finally, in the 78th minute, Senegal’s persistence paid off when Fallou Diouf scored the winning goal from inside the box.
Substitute Papa Alioune Ndiaye provided the assist by winning the ball ahead of Congo’s goalkeeper.
Yaya Dieme came close to scoring for Senegal when he received the ball on the back post and took a shot, but the goalkeeper made an impressive save.
Congo tried to fight back and secure a point, but Senegal’s defense was solid, and they held on for the win.
This victory has boosted the confidence of the Teranga Cubs, and they will be looking forward to their next match against hosts Algeria on Tuesday.
This is the first time in three attempts that Senegal has won their opening game of the tournament.
With three points, they are now in second place in Group A, tied with leaders Algeria, who won 2-0 against Somalia yesterday.
The upcoming match against Algeria will be crucial for both teams as it will have significant implications for their qualification to the quarter-finals.