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Mali Overcome Burkina Faso To Book Quarter-Final Ticket

Mali secured a spot in the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations after defeating Burkina Faso 2-1 on Tuesday evening.

2023 Africa Cup of Nations

Result: Mali 2-1 Burkina Faso

Date: 30 January 2024

Venue:  Stade Amadou Gon Coulibaly

Mali, who qualified for the last 16 after topping Group E, brought back their big guns who were rested against Namibia, headlined by RB Leipzig midfielder Amadou Haidara.

Burkina Faso, meanwhile, had a new front line, Abdoul Tapsoba and Mohamed Konate joined Aston Villa’s Bertrand Traore.

The Eagles had a perfect start after they went ahead in the first three minutes thanks to an own goal by Edmond Tapsoba, who inadvertently scooped a rebound over his own goalkeeper Herve Koffi.

As the game progressed, Mali were more confident in attack and around the half-hour mark Lassine Sinayoko had a big chance around the penalty box but Koffi made a crucial save.

Eric Chelle’s charges continued to boss the game as they threatened for the second goal but the Stallions had better resistance and Mali went to the break only with a narrow lead.

Eagles could not ask for a better start again in the second stanza, as two minutes later Sinayoko eventually doubled their with a strike in the box after a through ball by Hamari Traore.

Burkina Faso were in trouble and they had a lifeline just before the hour-mark, as they were awarded a penalty for a handball in the box spotted by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

Traore stepped up and made no mistake for the Stallions, as he pulled a goal back with a spot-kick on the other side of shot-stopper Djigui Diarra.

Mali had a forced substitution with 15 minutes to go, as Haidara sustained a head injury and he was replaced by Diadie Samassekou.

Burkina Faso struggled for momentum in the closing stages but Issoufou Dayo thought he had levelled matters after he found the back of the net in the last minute but the goal was disallowed for offside.

Mali held on in the end and booked a spot in the quarter-finals against hosts Ivory Coast.

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