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Sports News
Congo reach Fifa U-20 World Cup 1/28/2007
Hosts Congo booked their place in June''s Fifa U-20 World Cup after beating Burkina Faso 1-0 to reach the semi-finals of the African Youth Championship.

Before a packed stadium, the hosts took the lead shortly before half-time when striker Franchel Ibara converted a 43rd-minute penalty.

GROUP B STANDINGS
Nigeria 4 points
Egypt 4 points
Zambia 3 points
Cameroon 0 points

SATURDAY: Zambia v Egypt
SATURDAY: Nigeria v C''roon

The spot-kick, dispatched low to the right-hand side of the goal, resulted from a foul on Chirel Ngakosso Ermejea and allowed the Congolese to finish second in Group A behind leaders Gambia.

Congo have made their first Fifa finals because any team reaching the semi-finals of the African Youth Championhip automatically qualify for June''s event in Canada.

There were wild scenes in Brazzaville as the Red Devils held on in a tight contest, with the second half providing chances at both ends.

"I''m so satisfied for my boys who have made incredible improvements in two years," Congo coach Eddy Hudanski told BBC Sport.

"They were boys from the streets who''ve come a long way and now we have our reward - the secret was our desire."

Burkina Faso coach Sidiki Diarra was philosophical about his team''s exit from the competition.

"We came with the ambition to qualify for the Fifa youth cup but this didn''t happen," he told BBC Sport.

"This did not happen but it''s not the end of the world. We''ll continue to work."

In the day''s other Group A game, Gambia maintained their fine form when beating Ivory Coast 1-0 in Pointe Noire.

Abdoulaye Kenmansally scored the only goal of the game after 84 minutes to ensure that Gambia finish top of the group with a 100 per cent record.

Gambia, many of whose players won the 2005 African U-17 championship, have taken nine points, scoring five goals and conceding none.

Meanwhile, Ivory Coast, who started the competition as group favourites, return home without registering either a goal or a point to their name.




 
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