It was another amazing Africa Cup of Nations escape act for host nation Ivory Coast as Oumar Diakite’s 122nd-minute winner sent the 10-man Elephants into the semi-finals at heartbroken Mali’s expense.
The hosts who were numerically disadvantaged for most of the game after Odilon Kossounou’s dismissal for two first-half fouls on Lassine Sinayoko fell behind to Nene Dorgeles’ classy curler.
But the Elephants equalised right on 90 minutes through Simon Adringa’s opportunistic finish – and won it with virtually the last kick of extra time when Diakite diverted home Seko Fofana’s shot.
Diakite left the field with mixed emotions, however, as a second yellow card received for removing his shirt in celebration means he will be banned for Wednesday’s semi-final against DR Congo (20:00 GMT).
The final whistle yielded unsavoury scenes as several Mali players surrounded referee Mohamed Adel, remonstrating with the official, and Hamari Traore was shown a red card for taking his protests too far.
In another report, Africa Today News, New York reports that the Bafana Bafana of South Africa will play Nigeria on Wednesday in the Semi-final of the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote d’Ivoire.
South Africa defeated Cape Verde 2-1 on penalties to set up a date with the Super Eagles of Nigeria in the semi-final.
Nigeria had earlier defeated Angola 1-0 to reach the semi-final.
The match is certainly going to be a cracker as any game between the duo had never been easy.
Nigeria and South Africa have met 15 times in competitive football since 1992. The Super Eagles have won eight of such encounters, while the Bafana Bafana won two. The two sides have drawn five games.
The most recent clash between the two countries was at the quarter-final of the 2019 AFCON. The Super Eagles defeated South Africa 2-1 to advance.
The two countries played 1-1 during the qualification for the AFCON tournament in South Africa. South Africa also defeated the Super Eagles 2-1 in Nigeria in the first leg of the qualification in 2018.