Nigeria has won the African youth soccer championship for a record seventh time.
The West Africans defeated host country Senegal 1-0 in the continent’s Under-20 final last Sunday. Both countries along with third and fourth-placed teams Ghana and Mali will represent Africa in the International Soccer Federation (FIFA) youth tournament in New Zealand from May 30 to June 20.
A total of eight teams took part in the African championship.
With a 3-1 victory over Senegal and a 2-2 draw with Ivory Coast, Nigeria reached the semi-final and shut out Ghana 2-0 on the way to the championship match.
Nigerian Musa Muhammed was the tournament’s top goal scorer with four.
The other contestants in the global youth championship are Austria, Germany, Hungary, Portugal, Serbia, Ukraine, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, Fiji, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, the United States, Myanmar, North Korea, Qatar, Uzbekistan and host country, New Zealand.
Meanwhile, Irishman Johnny McKinstry is Rwanda’s new coach.
The 29-year-old was one of four candidates on the shortlist for the job, which has been vacant since Englishman Stephen Constantine left last January to coach India.
McKinstry, who previously led Sierra Leone into the top 50 of the FIFA world rankings as the youngest manager in international soccer, will now lead Rwanda in their qualification games for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, the 2018 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
He was appointed by Sierra Leone at the age of 27 and lost only one of his first six matches.
But following defeats by Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, he was sacked only six months after he had been given the job on a permanent basis.