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Football | African U20 Youth Champs

Junior Elephants in action © Action Images

Baby Elephants reach Championship final



Ivory Coast defeated host country Morocco 2-1 in the semi-final of the 2013 African U-17 Championship on Tuesday at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca to qualify for the final taking place on Saturday.

The Elephateaux, who are the surprise package of the tournament, were ahead with two goals in the first half, thanks to a better composure, pace and ball possession, which together thwarted the progression of the Lionceaux Atlas early in the meeting.

Bedia opened the scoring for the West Africans by the half hour mark while his side were in ascendancy and occupying much of the pitch and squeezing the hosts in their back half.

And after a couple of futile goal efforts, Niangbo doubled Ivory Coast’s lead in the 38th minute, compounding issues for the Moroccans who began to kick their balls away aimlessly.

The Moroccans began to find their feet after the break by stringing passes together and pushing against the Ivorian defence, however, they lacked clear cut finishing.

As the Lionceaux Atlas continued to unleash their onslaught, the Elephanteaux began to lose steam, and kept committing a number of nasty fouls, one of which lead to a penalty, transformed by Sabbar in the 68th minute to bring the scoreline to 2-1, which remained unchanged till the final whistle.

Ivory Coast will meet the winner of the second semi-final between Nigeria and Tunisia, playing on Wednesday in Marrakech.

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