First African team qualifies for Colombia
© AFP

Mali became the first nation from Africa to qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup on Wednesday when they beat Egypt 1-0 at the Dobsonville Stadium in Johannesburg.

A goal in the 65th minute from Konate Amara was enough to secure a second consecutive win to open the Eaglets’ tournament after they beat the hosts 4-2 in their first contest. Six points in Group A is enough to guarantee the Malians a place in the semi-final as Egypt and South Africa, who are both on three points, will play in the final round of group matches on Saturday. Mali will close out the group on the same day against pointless Lesotho.

Group B continues the action from the CAF African Youth Championship tomorrow when Nigeria face Cameroon and Gambia take on Ghana. The Nigerians and Cameroonians are both on three points after one round and looking to take control of the group. The top two in each table advance to the last four, thereby booking their ticket to Colombia 2011, which runs from 29 July to 20 August.