Senegal reached the final of the TotalEnergies U20 Africa Cup of Nations after Lamine Camara scored a double to help them to defeat Tunisia 3-0 in Ismailia on Monday.
The Teranga Cubs won the semi-final match emphatically after beating the Young Carthage Eagles at the Suez Canal Authority Stadium to secure their place in the final..
Two goals from new FC Metz recruit Camara and a sumptuous strike by Pape Diop was enough to send Senegal to their AFCON U-20 final.
The three-time runners-up will face the winner between Nigeria and The Gambia in the final on Saturday, 11 March at the Cairo International Stadium.
Senegal started brightly with captain Samba Diallo operating down the left channel while Mamadou Camara rejoined Lamine Camara in the heart of defense.
Senegal broke the deadlock through Zulte Waregem starlet Pape Diop’s ferocious effort from distance after seven minutes.
The 19-year-old forward latched onto Sulaymane Faye’s squared pass before beating Raed Gazzeh with a spectacular finish to register his fifth goal of the TotalEnergies U-20 AFCON in Egypt.
The Young Carthage Eagles grew into the match as they tried to weather the early Senegal storm at the Suez Canal Authority Stadium in Ismailia.
Mohamed Wael Derbali forced a save from the towering Senegal custodian Landing Badji. The Olympique de Beja midfielder volleyed his rebound straight into the gloves of Badji.
The Young Teranga Lions upped the ante and came close through defender Seydou Sano’s long range drive which Raed Gazzeh pushed away for a corner.
The West Africans doubled their lead on 17 minutes through 2022 TotalEnergies African Nations Championship star Lamine Camara.
The former Generation Foot graduate profited from his relentless press in the Carthage Eagles area which forced Zinedine Sassi to under-hit his backpass before sliding to make it 2-0.
Camara saw his well-drilled low effort on the edge of the Tunisian box turned for a corner before Raed Gazzeh produced another top class save to deny Samba Diallo from giving Senegal a three goal lead.
Adel Sellimi’s side should have pulled a goal back on the half hour mark when Ali Saoudi headed Mohamed Dhaoui’s freekick just wide off Landing Badji’s far post.
The Carthage Eagles coach made two changes six minutes before the break withdrawing Ghaith Wahabi and Zinedine Sassi for Yassine Dridi and Adam Garreb respectively.
Mahmoud Ghorbel failed to convert Mohamed Derbali’s inviting cross into the Senegal box on 42 minutes.
The Club Sportif Sfaxien CSS defender broke free at the back post but couldn’t beat Badji in the Teranga Cubs goal.
Malick Daf’s side held onto their two goal lead going into the break as they moved closer to their fourth appearance in the TotalEnergies U-20 AFCON final.
Senegal started the second half from where they left off with captain Samba Diallo flashing two efforts over Raed Gazzeh’s goal.
Camara made it 3-0 for Senegal with a close range effort following successive saves by Raed Gazzeh to deny Samba Diallo.
Camara won possession deep into the Tunisia half to play in Sulaymane Faye who found Samba Diallo on the edge of the box, the captain had two efforts blocked before tucking away the rebound to score his second of the day.
Both sides continue to effect changes as they look to freshen up things in the second half. Jibril Othman headed wide of Badi’s goal on 73 minutes from substitute Mohamed Aziz Abid’s delivery into the area.
Backed by their travelling 12th Gainde the Young Teranga Lions held on to secure their place in Saturday’s final.