After convincingly putting aside the Tunisia U-20 side by way of a 4 – 1 triumph in the second semi – final of the 2021 AFCON U-20, the Cranes U-20 and the entire country that is the pearl of Africa is in a mood of deja vu.
The win saw the young Cranes slated to face off with their Ghana counterparts in the much anticipated final on Saturday.
The Hippos became the first national soccer team to reach a continental final since the 1978 senior Cranes team. The then national senior soccer team faced off with bitter rivals and host Ghana in the final game of the 1978 AFCON.
The young Cranes will however hope for much better results than their seniors managed. The 1978 final ended a 2 – 0 win to the West Africans. The Hippos however fancy their chances in the build up to the 2021 AFCON U-20 final on Saturday following what many fans see as a good show in the competition so far.
Even with empty stands in the 8600 seater Stade Cheikha Ould Boidiya stadium, the Hippos hope to build on wins against Tunisia, Burkina Faso, Mozambique, and host Mauritania as they go into the final.
The Hippos, first timers in this competition will be up against Ghana who are no strangers at this stage of the AFCON U-20. They have participated in the final twice, winning once 2-0 against Cameroon in 2009 and losing on penalties against Egypt in 2013.