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HomeAfrica Cup Of NationsMali & Tunisia Ends In Draw

Mali & Tunisia Ends In Draw

Mali and Tunisia had to settle for a 1-1 draw in their Group E AFCON encounter at Stade Amadou Gon Coulibaly in Korhogo.

After their win over Bafana Bafana in their first match, Mali were looking to book their place in their knockout rounds with a victory, while Tunisia, who are Africa’s second highest ranked team, were looking to bounce back after a shock loss to Namibia.

The North Africans put in some good early pressure and had a chance in the second minute from a free kick. Ben Slimane delivered a curling goal-bound effort, but Djigui Diarra was able to punch away. 

But it was Mali who would strike first blood. With their first real entry into Tunisia’s danger area, Lassine Sinayoko fired in a powerful shot from the left that struck the right upright and bounced in to make it 1-0 to the Mali Eagles. The stadium erupted, as just like in their opening game against South Africa, a large Malian presence filled the stands, with the border between Mali and Ivory Coast just a few hours from Korhogo.

A goal-line clearance from Kiki Kouyate in the 18th minute kept Mali in front, as Tunisia looked for the equaliser.

And that equaliser came for the Carthage Eagles a minute later as Hamza Rafia levelled matters, Ali Elabdi cut the ball back and Rafia’s shot just snuck under Diarra. 

Amadou Haidara was given space in the 40th minute, and attempted a shot from just outside the area, but it had too much swerve and went wide of Bechir Ben Said’s goal. Two minutes later Slimane had a chance at the other end, but it was always off target.

In first-half stoppage time, Elabdi went close but shot just over, and when the whistle blew a minute later, the scoreline remained 1-1.

Kamory Doumbia was off target in the 51st minute, as the action intensified in the second half. Hamari Traore’s effort in the 57th minute and Lassana Coulibaly’s a minute later were also never threatening.

The Tunisians were getting opportunities too, but their final crosses and passes into danger areas were not being completed, with the Malian defenders up to the task.

It was the Mali Eagles however who finished stronger, and Sinayoko missed a great chance in the 78th minute as he skied his shot from just in front of goal, after being well set up by Traore.

But a defensive error moments later at the other end led to a good chance for Tunisia, but Sayfallah Ltaief ’s effort was bravely blocked, and it was deflected behind.

In the 86th minute, substitute Fousseni Diabate’s attempt from the edge of the area took a deflection and went behind. Two minutes later it looked like Diabate might have another chance for Mali, but Ben Said was able to gather. Yves Bissouma skied an effort just before the start of eight minutes of stoppage time.

Mali were awarded a dangerous free kick with just two minutes remaining, but Bissouma couldn’t get it on target, and it went just wide.

Mali stay top of Group E with four points, while Tunisia remain third, but now have point.

In the other Group E match, Bafana will take on neighbours Namibia on Sunday at 10 pm, SA time.

iDiski Times
iDiski Times
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