AFCON U-17 Mali pip Ghana to win 2017 African Under-17 Championship

Mali have successfully defended their CAF U-17 Trophy after recording a 1-0 win over Ghana in the final game on Sunday at the Stade de Libreville.

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Holders Mali defeated Ghana 1-0 in a hard-fought final at the Stade de L’Amite in Libreville to emerge champions of the 2017 U-17 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon on Sunday.

The Starlets were aiming to go one better than the class of 2005 in Gambia but the title proved elusive once again as an excellent Mali side controlled and dominated the final to ensure a successful defence.

The only goal of the game was scored by Mamadou Samake in the 21st minute as he pounced on a rebound from a penalty.

Mali had a chance to double their lead in the 33rd minute from the penalty spot but the Ghana keeper saved the effort.

Ayiah had the clearest chance to level the game but dallied on the ball when played through for a Malian defender to put in a block.

The second half was frustrating to watch from a Ghanaian perspective as the Starlets failed to carve any real openings with the Malians creating chance after chance to put gloss on the scoreline.

The win means Mali retained the trophy which they won in 2015 in Niger Republic.

They also joined Nigeria, Ghana and Gambia as the only countries who have won the U-17 AFCON twice.

In the third-place game played also on Sunday, Guinea defeated Niger Republic 3-1.

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