Zambia battle Senegal in AFCON U-20 final

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The U-20 Africa Cup of Nations comes to a close today with hosts Zambia facing Senegal in the final where a new champion will be crowned at Lusaka’s Heroes Stadium.

Both finalists, Zambia and Senegal, have never won this trophy and are the only sides in the tournament that are unbeaten.

Home hopes will be firmly pinned on Zambia as they bid for the title, while South Africa and Guinea will battle for bronze in the third place play-off fixture before the title decider.

Hosts Zambia have had the highest number of goals scored with 11 and have conceded just two at this Nations Cup.

It makes for an intriguing contest considering the junior Teranga Lions have had to sweep aside tough opposition to reach the finale and finished top of their group.

Senegal may also have unfinished business with the junior tournament having  narrowly lost to Nigeria at the 2015 edition  that they hosted.

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Krepin Diatta has been carrying the Senegalese hopes with his aggressive style of play and will be the man they may count on to break the host nation that has 50, 000 fans cheering them on.

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Senegal coach Ibrahima Ndiaye will have his hopes on  semi-finals hero Aliou Badji  to pull something out of his bag of tricks to steal the show from Zambia.

As for the hosts, their semi-final opponents South Africa showed that Zambia could be vulnerable even before a partisan crowd, as they fought until extra time before  succumbing to an Edward Chilufya goal.

Zambia coach Beston Chambeshi has a front loaded side with a number of goal-getters and three players on three goals at the tournament.

The trio of Fashion Sakala, Patson Daka and Edward Chilufya have scored three goals each at the tournament and present Zambia’s biggest route to victory.

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However, Chambeshi may have some work to do at the heart of midfield which has proved to be Zambia’s weak link.

In the early kick-off today, South Africa and Guinea will be up against each other in the race for third place at Heroes Stadium.

All the top four teams will represent Africa at the Fifa World Cup that will be hosted by South Korea in May.

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