Disappointment for South Africa in Zambia

Senegal and Cameroon picked up valuable wins in the second round of matches in Group B at the 2017 African Under-20 Champions in Ndola, Zambia on Thursday.

Senegal came from a 2-0 halftime deficit to defeat South Africa 4-2, while Cameroon were too strong for Sudan as they claimed a 4-1 success.

It means Senegal top the pool with four points, while South Africa and Cameroon have three each and Sudan one.

All four sides are still in contention for the semifinals heading into Sunday’s final round of matches in the pool, when South Africa will play Sudan, and Senegal and Cameroon face-off in a mighty clash.

South Africa led on 38 seconds when Luther Singh picked out Liam Jordan in the six-yard box and the Sporting Lisbon youngster headed home.

It was the perfect start for the South Africans in an open beginning and Senegal nearly found the equaliser when Aliou Badji blasted the ball against the crossbar minutes later.

But it was the free-flowing South Africans who got the next goal and the excellent Singh broke on the left-hand side and his square ball was easily steered home by captain Tercious Malepe.

Senegal pulled a goal back three minutes into the second half when Ibrahima Ndiaye blasted home a free-kick from the edge of the box, though the South African wall should have done better to keep the shot out.

And it was 2-2 on 54 minutes as South African goalkeeper Mondli Mpoto flapped at a corner kick, allowing Ousseynou Diagne to head home.

By now Senegal were well on top and Diagne got his second with a superb long range effort, before Krépin Diatta added the fourth as he headed home when Katlego Mohamme’s attempted clearance came back off the crossbar and into his path.

Shell-shocked South Africa brought themselves back into the contest with 10 minutes remaining when Singh turned his marker and slid the ball into the back of the net from a tight angle.

Teboho Mokoena struck the crossbar for the South Africans in the dying seconds, but in the end they had to settle for defeat.

Earlier, Cameroon led when Ketu Jih converted at the back post after a mistake from Sudan keeper Mohamed Alnour, and it took until the 51st miniute for them grab their second as Eric Ayuk headed home.

The Young Indomitable Lions skipper Samuel Oum Gouet blasted home a third from the edge of the box, while their fourth came via a good solo run from Olivier Mbaizo.

Walaa Musa had earlier grabbed a consolation for the out-gunned Sudanese.

There will be no matches played on Friday, with the final round of games in Group A to take place on Saturday.

Hosts Zambia have already qualified for the semifinals, and the 2017 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, as pool winners and meet second-placed Egypt, who must win to be sure of a spot.

They they draw or lose, the winner of the match between Guinea and Mali will advance to the knockout stages.