Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



U-20 AFCON: Young Teranga Lions acclaimed on return home

U-20 AFCON: Young Teranga Lions acclaimed on return home
The players of the Senegalese national team, champions of the African Cup of Football U20, arrive on the tarmac of Dakar Yoff airport, after their victory in Egypt.   -  
Copyright © africanews


The young Teranga Lions of Senegal lifted Saturday their first ever TotalEnergies U-20 Africa Cup of Nations. On Monday night (Mar. 13) they were given a warm welcome in Dakar.

Hundreds of supporters welcomed the Lion Cubs of Teranga on their return from Egypt. Captain Samba Diallo did not hide his joy on the tarmac to have ended the curse of the U20. Indeed, the young Lions were beaten in the final of the U-20 AFCON in 2015, 2017 and 2019.

"Our team had only one ambition, to bring the cup back to Senegal," said the midfielder of Dynamo Kiev, trained in Darou Salam. The coach, Malick Daf, told us very early on that our only objective was not to qualify for the World Cup but to win the trophy and, fortunately, we achieved that goal."

Mission largely accomplished for the Senegalese who succeeded to leave Egypt on a perfect sheet: in 6 matches, 14 goals scored, none conceded.

The young lions won all the individual awards. Lamine Camara was named best player of the tournament after having already shone at the CHAN in Algeria. The midfielder from Génération Foot now hopes to continue his impressive performances with his new club, FC Metz, in the French second division.

Invincible throughout the tournament, Landing Badji, the goalkeeper of AS Pikine, was logically elected best goalkeeper.

The competition's top scorer, Pape Demba Diop, with 5 goals, was proud of this outstanding performance. "To win the Golden Boot, I would never have done it without my teammates. And now we're going to prepare for the World Cup, which is in two months, why not do the same," the Zulte-Waregem striker exclaimed in a big smile. 

At the World Cup, which will be held in Indonesia, Senegal will be accompanied by its final competitor: The Gambia. The team also had a near perfect tournament before losing 2-0 in the final.

The unfortunate semi-finalists, Tunisia and Nigeria, will be the other two African representatives at the U-20 World Cup from May 20 to June 11.

After winning the AFCON in early 2022 and the CHAN in early 2023, Senegal confirmed its supremacy in African soccer.

"It is a work of several years that has earned us all these trophies," said Yankhoba Diattara, the Sports minister. "We must congratulate all the actors of the sports movement, those who are in the clubs, in the training centers but also the State of Senegal with the Head of State who has provided the means, who instructed the members of the government to put the teams in excellent conditions to perform. It is this mix that makes Senegalese soccer what it is today."

View more