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Page last updated at 13:03 GMT, Wednesday, 20 April 2011 14:03 UK

South Africa and Mali win at African Youth Championship

The Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto
The Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto is hosting the African Youth Championship

Mali became the first qualifiers for the 2011 African Youth Championship semi-finals after defeating Egypt 1-0 Wednesday in a Group A showdown.

Their victory over the Young Pharaohs also means Mali are through to the U20 World Cup to be played in Colombia in July.

Forced to play most of the match at windy Dobsonville Stadium with 10 men, the Malians broke the deadlock on 65 minutes with a memorable goal.

Awarded a free kick close to the Egyptian penalty area, the Eaglets took full advantage as defender Amara Konate came forward and unleashed a fierce drive that gave goalkeeper Ahmed al-Shenawy no chance.

Knowing victory would not only take them to the penultimate phase of the biennial African tourmanent but also secure a place at the world championship in Colombia, Mali created a defensive barricade that Egypt failed to breach.

All is not lost for the North Africans, however, as a draw against South Africa at the same venue Saturday will enable them to join Mali in the semi-finals and in South America while the hosts must win to progress.

South Africa recovered from an opening-day defeat by Mali to keep their hopes alive with a 2-1 victory over Lesotho.

It was an ironic match-up as Lesotho caused a qualifying competition shock by eliminating South Africa, who got back into the tournament as hosts after Libya were forced to withdraw because of the armed rebellion in the country.

Letsie Koapeng put South Africa in front on 23 minutes with a far-post header after a cross evaded goalkeeper Kamamelo Makhooame and Lucky Nguzana claimed his third goal in two matches via a deflected drive.

Early second half Lesotho substitute Litsepe Marabe sent Rowen Williams the wrong way from a 66th-minute penalty kick after he had been fouled by Awonke Kwenene.

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see also
Nigeria squad down to 18 at AYC
19 Apr 11 |  African
AYC stays put despite poor pitch
19 Apr 11 |  African
Nigeria stun holders Ghana at AYC
18 Apr 11 |  African
Mali defeat SA in AYC opener
17 Apr 11 |  African
African Youth Championship
24 Jul 10 |  African

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