Côte D’Ivoire beat defending champions Gambia 4-1 on Saturday to reach the semi-finals of the CAF U-17 Championship, where they will be joined by Congo, who defeated Mali 2-1. The pair join tournament hosts Rwanda and Burkina Faso in the last four and as qualifiers for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011.
The holders suffered defensively against their west African rivals, and a breakdown in the back line gifted Drissa Diarrassouba the opener before the quarter-hour mark.
Faced with a must-win match, the Baby Scorpions pushed for goals but instead saw their goal breached by Evrard Kouassi and Lionel Lago to put the match beyond reach by the hour mark. Adama Sabally pulled one back after that before being sent off, but Guy Stehpane Bedi settled the scoring in favour of the Young Elephants.
The Ivorians and the Congolese both finish with seven points in Group B, with the former topping the table on goals scored. Côte D’Ivoire will face Rwanda on Wednesday for a place in the continental final, while the Congolese take on Burkina Faso the day before. Both matches will be played at Amahoro Stadium in Kigali.