U-23 Eagles draw ‘lucky’ Burkina Faso in semis



To face Egypt, Algeria, Mali in Rio 2016 qualifiers

THE national Under-23 team’s quest for the gold medal at the on-going All Africa Games’ football event will get a stern test from their Burkinabe counterparts today.

It is the semifinal of the competition, which will see the lucky Francophone West African country pitching their wits against one of the favourites for the gold medal.

Burkina Faso reached the semifinal after emerging the lucky side in a drawing of lots with Sudan yesterday. Both sides had scored and conceded two goals in their first two Group A games, before playing to a goalless draw in their final tie on Sunday, thus finishing level on four points apiece and the same goals difference in the group won by Congo.

So, the only way to separate them was by drawing of lots, which saw the Sudanese losing out in a cruel fashion.

Meanwhile, Olympic Eagles Coach, Samson Siasia, believes Nigeria will qualify for the Rio 2016 games despite drawing Egypt, Algeria and Mali in the African U-23 Championships’ draw held in Cairo yesterday.

Nigeria is in Group B, while South Africa, hosts Senegal, Zambia and Tunisia are in Group A.

The group winners and runners up would advance to the semifinals, where winners would qualify for the Rio Olympic Games, while the losing semifinalists would play off to fill the third and last place reserved for Africa at a tournament.

Nigeria beat Congo to reach Senegal, while Egypt defeated Uganda. Algeria overcame Sierra Leone and Mali were too strong for Mauritania and 2012 London Olympics qualifiers, Gabon.

The competition will hold from November 28 to December 12 in Dakar and Mbour, Senegal.

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