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FIFA U17 World Cup: How African Teams Fared After Group Stage Matches
- The FIFA U17 World Cup has reached the knockout stages
- Three African countries are in contention for the ultimate
- Senegal has drawn France while Morocco takes on Iran
After 36 exhilarating games at the group stage of the FIFA U17 World Cup in Indonesia, three African teams advanced to the knockout stage, with only Burkina Faso failing to make it to the second round.
African champions Senegal cruised into the elimination stage after just their second game in the competition and are joined by Morocco and Mali as the continent's representatives.
The Atlas Cubs impressively finished Group A on top with two wins, while Mali and Senegal were runners-up in Group B and D respectively.
Burkina Faso finished third in Group E after defeats to the United States and France, per FIFA's official website.
How each team fared in their group
Morocco got off to a bright start after beating Panama in the group opener 2-0, courtesy goals from Saifidine Chalghmo and Aymam Ennair, but lost their second game to Ecuador 2-0 before finishing off the group with a 3-1 victory against host Indonesia. Anas Alaoui, Abdulhamid Ait Boudlal and Mohammed Zine El Abidine Harmony scored to earn the North Africans progress to the second round.
Mali started the tournament strongly after Mamadou Doumbia netted a hat-trick in the 3-0 win over Uzbekistan. However, after playing most of their second match with ten men, they lost 1-0 to Spain before bouncing back with an emphatic 5-1 win over Canada.
Senegal, the African champions, stunned Argentina 2-1 in the opening Group D game, with Amara Diouf -tipped for greatness- scoring a brace against the South Americans. Idrissa Gueye stole the show in the second game, scoring a hat-trick as the Young Teranga Lions defeated Poland 4-1. With qualification up for grabs already, Senegal lost to Japan in the final group game.
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Burkina Faso's victory in the final Group E game against South Korea was not enough as the West Africans bowed out of the competition following defeats in their first two matches against France and the United States. They lost 3-0 to France in their opening game before suffering a 2-1 defeat to USA.
What's next for the qualified African teams
Senegal have drawn tournament favourites France in the round of 16, while Mali faces Mexico with Morocco engaging Iran. All three African countries are chasing a first-ever FIFA U17 World Cup triumph.
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Mane started his career abroad with the Ligue 1 club, going on to become a legendary figure in his country, Senegal.
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Diouf, who won the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal, became the youngest player to make his debut for the Teranga Lions, coming on as a second-half substitute in the AFCON qualifier against Rwanda, at just 15 years and 94 days.