Cameroon became the second African nation to qualify for the U-20 FIFA World Cup on Thursday with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Nigeria. Thailand-based Franck Ohandza beat two Nigerian defenders to score the only goal of the contest in injury time of the first half at the Dobsonville Stadium in Johannesburg.
On six points from two matches, after beating Gambia by the same score to open the tournament, the Cameroonians have secured a place in the semi-final from Group B and thus a spot at Colombia 2011, which runs from 29 July to 20 August. “My boys showed a very strong fighting spirit, and for that I congratulated them,” said Cameroon coach Martin Mpile after the match.
Nigeria are on three points, while Ghana and Gambia have one apiece, so all three will be hoping to join the Lions in the last four with victories over the weekend. Ghana will take on Cameroon, who are expected to rest players for the knockout rounds, while Nigeria and Gambia will also do battle.
Mali became the first African team to book passage to the FIFA U-20 World Cup on Wednesday with a 1-0 victory over Egypt. Hosts South Africa and Egypt will play to see who joins the Malians in the semi-finals and in Colombia.