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2023 Africa Cup of Nations

2023 AFCON: Mali Defeat South Africa 2-0

Mali’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign got off to a great start as they defeated South Africa 2-0 to take the lead in Group E.

At the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium in Korhogo, where Namibia had earlier in the day stunned Tunisia 1-0, South Africa held their own in the first half. However, following the break, Mali picked up the pace and took control of the game, scoring twice in six minutes through goals from Lassine Sinayoko and captain Hamari Traore.

Halfway through the first half, former Brighton forward Percy Tau took the penalty kick that VAR had awarded, ending Bafana Bafana’s best chance to pull off such an upset. He skied the ball high over the crossbar, ending the first half goalless.

Following the break, Kamory Doumbia’s free-kick hit the underside of the crossbar, and Traore scored from close range, giving Mali the lead and a 60-minute advantage. 

After outmuscling Siyanda Xulu, Sinayoko slotted under goalkeeper Ronwen Williams with ease to double Mali’s lead in just six minutes.

The deserving victory took Mali to the top of Group E as they prepare to face Tunisia this weekend. 

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