Hosts Zambia turned on the style to lift the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations after beating Senegal 2-0 in the final at the Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
For Senegal it was a tale of double disappointment having lost the 2015 final on home soil against Nigeria.
There had been fears that Zambia, who had looked impressive all tournament, may crack under the weight of expectation but the junior Chipolopolo held their cool to go into the break leading 2-0.
Senegalese goalkeeper Lamine Sarr made two horrendous errors that a merciless Zambian frontline punished him for.
The two sides had been sizing each other up in the opening minutes with Senegal having the first sight of goal when Ibrahima Niane’s tame shot was easily picked up by Mangani Banda in the seventh minute.
Zambia roared to life in the 14th minute when Fashion Sakala controlled the ball in the box but his ferociously struck shot went wide.
Three minutes later Sakala was back on the by-line to tease the ball into the box with Sarr spilling it into the path of a grateful Patson Daka (pictured) whose predatory instincts came to life toeing home.
Senegal were not deterred and continued to pressure the Zambians with Niane forcing Shemmy Mayembe to trip him in the 28th minute, but the Senegalese fluffed the resulting set piece.
Junior Chipolopolo were back on the attack when Sarr misjudged the ball, gifting an on-rushing Edward Chilufya a glorious opportunity for the hosts’ second goal in the 35th minutes.
Senegal came pushing in the second half with second half substitute Ibrahima Ndiaye booked for throwing a suspicious substance into the Zambian goal Referee Thierry Nkurunzinza yellow carded Ndiaye as tempers flared with the crowd booing Senegal.
That spurred on Senegal with Aliou Badji almost getting a breakthrough but his powerfully struck effort in the 67th minute went wide.
The match was turning into a battle between Zambia’s keeper Mangani Banda and the Senegalese duo of Ndiaye and Badji.Banda was duly named man-of-the-match for his game-saving heroics between the sticks.
In the earlier match Guinea came from behind to beat South Africa 2-1 and earn bronze.
The top four teams at the tournament qualified for the Fifa World Cup and will await the draws on 15 March in South Korea.
Source: BBC Sports