Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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Mali Into AFCON Last Eight

Mali have progressed to the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations after a 2-1 win over Burkina Faso in the Last 16 at stade AG Coulibaly on Tuesday evening.

Edmond Tapsoba scored an own goal in the first half, while Lassine Sinayoko scored the extension early in the second half and Betrand Traore netted the goal that counted for Burkina Faso.

The Eagles will now face hosts and neighbours Ivory Coast on Saturday for a place in the semi-final.

Adama Traore set up Amadou Haidara in the opening minutes of the match, Haidara took a shot inside the box but Herve Kofifi blocked it only for Tapsoba to head the rebound home to give their neighbours a lead in the third minute.

The goal gave Mali the edge to keep testing Kofifi and they could have scored the extension in the 24th minute through Kamory Doumbia.

He was one on one with the Burkinabe keeper who denied him blocking the ball with his feet. Doumbia had another chance eight minutes later but his shot went wide.

In the 38th minute Burkina Faso took the game to Mali. Traore found Abdoul Tapsoba in the box however the latter’s shot which was also ruled offside went high.

Mali were alert again in a critical phase of the game which saw Sinayoko grab the second goal immediately when the teams returned form the break from a wonderful solo run.

Burkina Faso looked for a quick reaction through a Mohamed Konate header but it went over the bar. Konate had another opportunity in the 53rd minute but he only forced Diarra Djigui to come out and make a save.

Burkina Faso’s efforts were rewarded in the 57th minute when they were awarded a penalty after a Kiki Kouyate hand ball in the box. Traore stepped up and converted to bring the Stallions back into the game.  

Doumbia tested Kofifi in search of a third goal but the ball landed in the keeper’s hands. Substitute Cedric Badolo had a chance to equalise for Hubert Velud’s side but Djigui won that battle with 20 minutes left on the clock.

Burkina Faso had the ball in the back of the next in the 87th minute but it was ruled out due to offside.

Lethabo Kganyago
Lethabo Kganyago
Lethabo Kganyago is currently working as a web and newspaper writer for iDiski Times. This award-winning sports journalist covers the Limpopo area and also specialises in coverage of women's football, including Banayana Banyana.