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Teams Set For AIYT Semi Final Today

Teams Set For AIYT Semi Final Today

The last four of the African International Youth football Tournament (AIYT) is known and there will be a local derby as Sierra LeoneUnder-20 lock horns with FC Johansen after the latter hold Ghana Under-20 to a goalless draw to finish as runners up in Group B.  (Photo:  FC Johansen goalie Mehdi Khalil has been in good form in the tournament)

After Diambars Academy held South Africa’s Amajitas to a one whole draw, FC Johansen knew the needed a draw to ensure qualifications to the semis.

Diambars Academy Daffe Arfang took the lead in stoppage time of the first half after a through pass from Papa Mousa Sow, Daffe Arfang beat the South African keeper Ronwen Williams with a touch and set clear on goal before slotting inside an empty. South Africa equalised in the 80th minute through striker Leisie Koapeng when he finished up a scramble ball in the goal mouth from a cross from the right flank by team-mate Doctor Mampuru.

FC Johansen coach Lamin Bangura called on his players to up their goal scoring ability if they are to progress to the final. “Scoring goals has been difficult for my boys but we are going to work on it because we must score goals if we’re to win,” said Coach Bangura.

The coach who was continuously pressed by press men about the strength of his players also admitted that fatigue might affect his boys but should not make them lose.

Sierra Leone Under-20 coach Alimamy K-Foot Turay is confident his side will triumph over FC Johansen. “I’ve said this time without number that we want to win this tournament and we can defeat any team that come our way,” said Coach Turay.

In what is expected to be a crunch tie, the final semi-final match of the day will see Group B winners Ghana Under-20 clashing with runners-up in Group A the Gambia Under-20 national side. This match is expected to be tight because the both teams are among the best in youth football in the African continent. The two teams are the only sides in the AIYT that will compete in next year’s CAF Under-20 Championship in Libya.

On their way to the semi-final, the Black Satellite won their group convincingly defeating South Africa and Diambars Academy 3-0 and 3-1 respectively before they were forced to a goalless draw by FC Johansen. The Gambia won their open match 3-2 against Ojoko FC of Nigeria and their last group match against BYC FC of Liberia 2-1. They drew with Shooting Stars 1-1 in their second match.

Muctaru Wurie, Freetown

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