By James Agberebi:
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 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.
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.
Mali, Ghana, Guinea and Niger Republic will represent Africa st the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India.
The Golden Eaglets of Nigeria won the last FIFA World Cup in Chile in 2015 but failed to qualify for the 2017 AFCON.