Cote d’Ivoire became the first country to reach the semi-finals of the 2022 WAFU B U20 Championship after beating Togo 2-0 in Niamey on Tuesday.
Two goals by talented striker Seydou Traore in the Group A match confirmed the last four place for the Baby Elephants in the Niger capital.
The goals in each half of the game at the Seyni Kountche Stadium also sealed the fate of the Baby Hawks who crash of the competition after losing their two matches in the group.
The result means the Ivorians retain their place at the top of the group with six points after defeating hosts Niger 1-0 the opening match on Saturday.
The Baby Elephants showed their determination to win the game by dominating the early exchanges with talented midfielder Abdramane Konate dictating the pace.
Konate robbed his marker of the ball at the edge of the box in the 7th minute before laying a perfect pass to Traore who tapped the ball beyond goalkeeper Aklesso Kpemin to break the deadlock.
The Ivorians had to wait until the 74th minute to seal the victory when Traore outpaced his marker at the edge of the box before sending a piledriver into the top corner for his third goal of the tournament.
A late flurry of attacks by the Baby Hawks was masterfully dealt with by the resolute Ivorian defenders led by Aboubakar Sylla and Valy Konate.
Traore, who plays for Ivorian side Racing Club Abidjan, was named Man-of-the-Match.
Meanwhile, in the group’s other game played later in the day, hosts Niger played out to a goalless with Benin .
The next round of matches in Group A will be played on Friday when Cote d’Ivoire take on Benin while Niger play Togo at the same venue.
The competition continues on Wednesday and with just three teams in Group B, one match is scheduled to be played.
Nigeria will play Burkina Faso in what promises to be an exciting encounter while title holders Ghana have a rest day.
The Flying Eagles, who defeated their arch rivals Ghana in their opening Group B game on Sunday, will qualify for the last four if they get a draw in the game.