There were jubilant scenes in Brazzaville today as hosts
Congo qualified for Canada 2007 , their first-ever FIFA tournament,
with a tense 1-0 win over Burkina Faso in the CAF African Youth
That victory saw Eddy Hudanski's side through to the tournament's semi-finals, where they will join the already-qualified Gambia , who themselves enjoyed a single-goal win today over Côte d'Ivoire.
Playing in front of a packed stadium, Congo needed to wait until a couple of minutes before half-time for a breakthrough, which came when Chirel Ngakosso Ermejea earned a penalty that team-mate Franchel Ibara successfully converted. The Congolese then had to endure a nervy second half against a determined Burkinabe outfit, but ultimately held on for a remarkable and unexpected triumph that seals their place at the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Hudanski's side is exclusively home-based, made up mostly of players attached to the national academy, the Centre National de Formation de Football, and despite going into the tournament as underdogs, had already beaten the much-fancied Côte d'Ivoire.
The Ivorians themselves, meanwhile, face the ignominy of heading home without a point or a goal to their name, this after a 1-0 defeat to Gambia in Pointe Noire. The game's only goal came from Abdoulaye Kenmansally six minutes from time, and ensured that the impressive Gambians march on to the last four boasting an unblemished record.