AFCON 2022: Mali beat Mauritania to top Group F while Gambia secure 2nd spot with 1-0 over Tunisia

Mali opened the scoring through defender Massadio Haidara inside the opening two minutes before Ibrahima Kone doubled the lead from the penalty spot in the second half to seal the win.

Mali beat Mauritania 2-0 in the Africa Cup of Nations fixture on Thursday; Credit: Twitter/@CAF_Online

Mali defeated Mauritania 2-0 in the Africa Cup of Nations fixture on Thursday to go through to the round of 16 stage as Group F winners. Former Newcastle defender Massadio Haidara scored the opening goal, inside the opening two minutes before Ibrahima Kone doubled the lead from the penalty spot in the second half to seal the win for Mali. The victory ensured that Mali topped the group ahead of Gambia on goal difference and will play Equatorial Guinea in the knock-out stage.

Mali started the match brightly and took the lead after some nice work down the right flank. Although Doumbia failed to make a clean connection to the cross, the ball fell nicely to Lens’ Haidara, who slotted home back across goal and inside the right-hand upright.

Mali were clearly the better side as they created the better chances in the opening half and Mauritania had to make do with set piece opportunities. Four minutes into the second half, Doumbia was fouled by Souleymane Karamoko inside the box and the referee pointed to the spot. The Norway-based striker stepped up and converted the spot-kick to double the lead.  

Mauritania’s best chance of getting back into the game came through free-kicks. Guessouma Fofana’s effort went straight to the keeper before Adama Ba forced a good save from Ibrahim Mounkoro.

Kone had a chance to get his brace but dragged his effort across the goal and wide of the far post. The 22-year-old Sarsporb player sits two goals behind Cameroon’s Vincent Aboubakar in the race for the golden boot. Haidara then forced a smart save from Diop from a free-kick.

Gambia 1-0 Tunisia

Gambia produced yet another upset result as the debutants stunned Tunisia 1-0 in their final group game to qualify to the round of 16. The only goal of the match was scored in the 93rd minute through Ablie Jallow. 

Meanwhile Tunisia will also go through as one of the four best third placed teams. They will take on Nigeria on Sunday. Gambia will face Guinea on Monday hoping to cause another upset and progress further in the competition.

Baboucarr Gaye denied Seifeddine Jaziri from the penalty spot as Tunisia missed from the spot for the third successive game. Gambia punished Tunisia for the missed chance as Musa Barrow’s 25-yard free-kick struck the post before Jallow hit the last-gasp winner.  



WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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