Mali Under-17 national team have been crowned African champions on conclusion of the continental Junior Championship in Niamey, Niger Republic, on Sunday.
Second-half goals from Bagayoko and Aly Malle helped the Eaglets outlast the hard-fighting South Africans at the Stade General Seyni Kountche.
The Amajimbos’ Luvuyo Mkatshana and Eric Mayo saw Mali goalkeeper Alou Traore deny them chances to pull South Africa back in the game.
South Africa were in the final for the first time while Mali were runners-up in 1997 in Botswana after a 1-0 defeat by the Young Pharaoh’s of Egypt. The Amajimbos finished fourth in 2005 in Gambia where they lost the third-place playoff match to Cote d’Ivoire.
The quartet of Mali, South Africa, Guinea and Nigeria will represent Africa in the Fifa Under-17 World Cup finals in Chile, beginning 17 October through 8 November.