Senegal

Associated Press

Wild match sees South Korea into U-20 World Cup semis on penalties

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A absolutely wild one in Bielsko-Biala saw both Senegal and South Korea complete unlikely comebacks, and eventually South Korea secured a place in the U-20 World Cup semifinals on penalties after a 3-3 draw, marking the last side to earn a place in the final four.

South Korea trailed 2-1 at the death, but scored a 98th minute equalizer to send the game to extra time before taking the lead six minutes into the added period. Needing a lifeline, Senegal pushed and pushed the whole added period before finding the necessary moment with almost the last kick of the game as Amadou Cisse tied it up in stoppage time to send the game to penalties. The Asian nation required another comeback in the shootout, falling behind 2-0 but eventually advancing on Cavin Diagne’s miss.

Diagne roofed one in the 37th minute to put Senegal up 1-0 at the halftime break, but South Korea fought back to level it up just past the half-hour mark as VAR awarded a penalty and Kang-In Lee delivered from the spot with a powerful low drive. Korea matched Senegal’s intensity, owning 55% possession and equaling the African nation’s shot total 9-9, but the level score would not last.

In the 72nd minute, VAR was required again as a handball by Lee Jae-Ik was eventually given as a penalty for Senegal. While South Korean goalkeeper Lee Gwang-Yeon saved Ibrahima Niane’s first attempt low to his left, the referee whistled for the penalty to be retaken after VAR confirmed South Korean players entered the area early. Niane scored with his second opportunity, putting Senegal ahead.

It seemed Senegal had put the game away in the 85th minute, but Ousseynou Niang’s goal was ruled out for a handball in the box by a teammate. That kept the game in doubt, and South Korea would deliver eight minutes deep into stoppage time as Ji-Sol Lee met a corner with his head and redirected it in off the underside of the crossbar.

That brought the game to extra-time, and the Asian side would emerge victorious with a winning moment in the 96th minute from Young-Wook Cho who finished first-time on a delightful feed through the Senegal back line from Lee Kang-In. The break was vicious and left the Senegal players hanging their heads staring down their first defeat of the tournament, but they would eventually earn the equalizer on a poke by Cisse who slid to meet a cross near the top of the box, tucking his shot perfectly inside the far post.

In the ensuing shootout, South Korea fell behind off the bat as Kim Jung-Min’s effort came off the inside of the post and agonizingly bounded parallel to the goal mouth and out. The next South Korean taker Cho Young-Wook saw his effort saved, but in fitting fashion for this game, they would come back to level the shootout when Amadou Ndiaye’s weak effort was stopped by a diving Lee Gwang-Yeon. In the fifth and final round of penalties, Dialy Ndiaye saved again, but was yellow-carded for coming off his line and the re-take was buried by Oh Se-Hun. That left Diagne with a do-or-die effort and he missed wide, giving South Korea the victory.

U-20 World Cup roundup: Quarterfinalists set, ranked

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The United States’ stunning come back to topple favorites France at the U-20 World Cup in Poland was followed up by the battle for the eighth quarterfinalist slot.

It took penalty kicks, as Mali and Argentina staged a thriller of their own that sat 2-2 after 120 minutes.

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Aboudlaye Diaby had a wild day, scoring an equalizer in regulation before conceding an own goal in the first minute of extra time and then scoring in penalty kicks as Mali clinched a spot in the final eight.

Insanity.

So who is going to win this thing, especially with France now out of the mix?

8) Ecuador — By putting them here, we’re assuring that La Tricolor will upset the Americans in the next round.

7) South Korea — The only team left from its group, they face a match-up problem with quarterfinal opponent Senegal.

6) Colombia — The wild card of the quarterfinalists, it’s difficult to have a read on Los Cafeteros other than to say its win over the hosts on Day One is laudable.

5) Mali — It may look insane to have Mali so low, given how exciting their matches have been and their taking of France to the wire, but nine goals allowed in four matches isn’t promising much.

4) United States — It’s just as easy to argue they can win the tournament than it is to say the Baby Yanks will bow out against Ecuador.

3) Ukraine — Still relatively untested after waxing Panama, but has to sit above the Baby Yanks after beating them in the group stage.

2) Senegal — Unbeaten with a pair of clean sheets on their record, the Senegalese are in the better part of the bracket when it comes to seeking the title.

  1. Italy — Vintage, tactical Italy has allowed one goal through four matches while averaging a single goal per game. Next up is a Mali team who’s shown an ability to be easily opened up by nearly every attack on the schedule.

Liverpool duo, Aubameyang are CAF Player of the Year finalists

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Mohamed Salah‘s bid to become the third player to win consecutive African Player of the Year awards faces some stiff competition.

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Salah (Egypt) is joined by Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane (Senegal) and Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon) as finalists for the confederation’s award, set to be handed out Jan. 8 in Senegal.

The Egyptian won in 2018 — his first year as a finalist — edging second place Mane and third place Aubameyang last year. Aubameyang won the award in 2015, and Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez claimed the honors in 2016.

Salah will be the heavy favorite despite Aubameyang’s outstanding year, if only because he was the lone member of the three to appear in the 2018 World Cup.

Still injured from a Sergio Ramos challenge in the UEFA Champions League Final, Salah scored both of the Pharoahs goals as Egypt failed to claim a point in a group with Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Uruguay.

Salah already won the BBC’s award. Surprisingly, Aubameyang was left off the BBC’s five-man shortlist, which instead chose Kalidou Koulibaly, Mehdi Benatia, and Thomas Partey. That’s trying a bit too hard, in this man’s view. Alex Iwobi and Wilfred Ndidi were also denied by the CAF.

El Hadji Diouf, Samuel Eto'o, and Yaya Toure were the others to win back-to-back African POTY honors.

Report: 1 dead, 37 hurt in crush at Madagascar-Senegal game

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ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar (AP) French radio service RFI is reporting at least one person has died and 37 have been injured in a crush before an African Cup of Nations qualifying soccer game in Madagascar involving Sadio Mane‘s Senegal team.

RFI says a stampede happened before kickoff at the Mahamasina Municipal Stadium on Sunday.

Television pictures showed packed stands at the stadium, which has a capacity of around 22,000. Reports say thousands began queuing hours before kickoff in an attempt to get a ticket to watch Mane and Senegal’s other stars. It’s unclear if the crush happened inside or outside the stadium.

The Madagascar vs. Senegal qualifier went ahead and ended in a 2-2 draw.

RFI quoted a local hospital as saying one person was dead and 37 injured. The Madagascar ministry of sport also listed 37 injured on its Facebook page.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Stadium stampede kills at least one during AFCON qualifying

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A mad rush to get into a stadium in Madagascar has led to death of at least one spectator and injuries to over 30 more.

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The Stade de Mahamasina uses only one entrance. That’s a fatal flaw that should’ve been remedied long ago, and the stadium also saw two fans die and many more injured during a 2005 stampede to get into an already packed building.

The Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match went ahead as scheduled between Senegal and Madagascar. From the BBC:

Thousands of spectators were still trying to get into the stadium through the only entrance.

Two of those hurt are in a critical condition in the capital, Antananarivo.

Unfortunately, as the BBC notes, stadium stampedes are not a rarity.

The match finished 2-2, with Liverpool’s Sadio Mane and Stoke City’s Mame Diouf scoring for Senegal.