Senegal advanced to their first-ever TotalEnergies U17 Africa Cup of Nations final on Sunday at the 19 May 1956 Stadium in Annaba by defeating Burkina Faso 5-4 after a tense penalty shootout.
After missing a late-game penalty kick, captain Amara Diouf made up for it by scoring the fifth and winning penalty for the Senegalese. Senegal was awarded the victory after Souleymane Alio of Burkina Faso sent his kick crashing against the crossbar.
Burkina Faso’s 84th-minute equalizer forced a 1-1 draw in regulation time, forcing the game to penalties.
Senegal scored on penalties through Serigne Fallou Diouf, Pierre Dorival, Ibrahima Sory, and Mamadou Sawane. Diouf then stepped up to score the game-winning goal.
Arouna Ouattara, Idrissa Sore, and Landry Yameogo scored the following three goals for Burkina Faso before Alio’s shot hit the crossbar. Emmanuel Ouedraogo had earlier scored the late equalizer.
The Teranga Cubs had taken the lead in the 15th minute thanks to Abdou Aziz Fall. Papa Ndiaye and Mamadou Sadio saw their attempts from within the area well saved by the Burkinabe goalkeeper Isidore Traore before the midfielder tapped home with a low shot.
Aboubacar Camara scored four minutes after the Senegalese had just escaped danger, reacting just in time at the backpost to Ousmane Camara’s defense-splitting pass.
Although Burkina Faso was quicker off the line, giving up the goal severely undermined their resolve. They found it difficult to stand up after giving in. Amara Diouf, the captain of Senegal, had an opportunity in the 22nd minute when he stepped behind a freekick, but he curled his strike well wide.
Burkina Faso nearly tied the score with a minute left in the half when Ousmane raced on to a cross from the left, but his glancing header missed the target with the goalkeeper beat.
Senegal should have won the game in the second half, but captain Diouf missed a penalty shot.
As he squatted to prevent Papa Ndiaye’s shot, Aly Sokondou was ruled to have handled the ball. Before confirming the penalty, the referee had to check the pitchside VAR monitor.
Burkina Faso was greatly inspired by the miss, and they pressured Senegal on their own territory. With six minutes remaining, they were finally rewarded when Ouedraogo hammered in a low strike from the edge of the box.
Senegal rallied some last-ditch effort to try and win the game at the buzzer, but penalties had to be used.