The 2015 FIFA Under-17 World Cup will be held in Chile later this year, and the four teams that will be making the trip to South America on behalf of the African continent include Nigeria, Mali, South Africa and Guinea.
These four junior national teams reached the semi-finals of the ongoing CAF U17 Championship in Niger this past weekend following a selection of round robin encounter in two groups of four teams each.
Mali beat defending champions Cote D’Ivoire 1-0 thanks to Boubacar Traore’s third goal of the tournament to help his side top Group B and progress to the knockout stage. South Africa’s Amajimbos joined the Malians as the second placed side in the group.
An own goal from Fokem Achielle and two strikes from SA captain Nelson Maluleke put the South Africans in a commanding position over Cameroon, with a consolation from Christian Bayemi ending the game at a 3-1 scoreline.
On Saturday Nigeria defeated Zambia 3-1 to top Group A on seven points, leaving Guinea in second place despite a 2-1 loss to hosts Niger. Victor Osimeh scored a brace for the Eaglets, while captain Kelechi Nwakali was also on target in the game that qualified the Nigerians to defend their title at the U17 showpiece in Chile between October and November.
In the semi-finals of the CAF U17 Championships South Africa will take on Nigeria and Guinea will face Mali to decide the finalists who will fight to be crowned the junior champions of Africa, but all four will be guaranteed of a spot in Chile to represent the continent on a global stage.