Hosts Zambia beat Senegal 2-0 in the final of the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON U-20) tournament in Lusaka Sunday with first-half goals from Patson Daka and Edward Chilufya.
The Junior Chipolopolo claimed their first ever title in the history of the biennial competition and became the second southern African country after Angola (in 2001) to be crowned champions.
They also became the fourth host nation to claim the ultimate after Morocco (1997), Ghana (1999) and Congo (2007).
Zambia was the only team to win all matches and they capped their campaign in grand style with the title before a full house in the 50,000-capacity Heroes National Stadium in the capital, including President Edgar Lungu.
In the playoff for third place, played before the final, substitute Naby Bangoura converted a late penalty to help Guinea beat South Africa 2-1, sending South African goalie Sanele Tshabalala the wrong way five minutes from time.
South Africa scored after only five minutes through Liam Jordan who fired past Moussa Camara after being put through by Sipho Mbule but the lead lasted for just three minutes with the Guineans equalizing after South Africa defender Katlego Mohamme headed into his own net.
The intended headed effort by Mohamme to his goalkeeper Tshabalala went past the latter as he looked on in anguish.
In the final, Senegal really tested the Zambians but their efforts were little enough to save them from a successive final defeat after losing 0-1 to Nigeria in the 2015 final on home soil.
The stadium erupted as Daka gave the Junior Chipolopolo the lead, capitalising on a blunder by Senegal goalie Lamine Sarr, who failed to make a firm grab of Sakala's seemingly harmless shot and Daka who was lurking nearby slotted home to send the fans into frenzy.
The goal brought out the best of 'Les Lionceaux' who stepped up their game in search of the equalizer. However, it was Zambia who managed to score from yet another mistake by Sarr. The goalie in his bid to clear his lines saw his shot come off the body of Chilufya as the ball headed straight into his own net.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK