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Mali Impressively See Off Tunisia

Mali defeated Tunisia 1-0 in their first 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Group F match at the Limbe Stadium in Cameroon on Wednesday afternoon.

The Eagles controlled proceedings from the onset, they dominated the possession statistics and were camped in the Tunisia half for most of the opening exchanges.

Mohamed Magassouba’s side nearly took a deserved lead in the 15th minute, as Moussa Djenepo combined well with Adama Traore, before rattling the crossbar with a fine volley from range.

However, Tunisia managed to claw their way back into the game, most notably when Naim Sliti and Hannibal Mejbri got on the ball.

Sliti was presented with Tunisia’s best opportunity midway through the opening half, but the winger’s effort was blocked by Amadou Haidara.

Both sides, however, showed attacking intent in the opening 45 minutes, but were let by their passing in the final third.

Mali sustained the pressure at the start of the second half and managed to take the lead in the 48th minute when Tunisia midfielder Shikri handled the ball in the box. Ibrahima Troare took the penalty sending Benchir Ben Said, 1-0.

Malouda Traoré almost doubled Mali’s lead in the 64th minute but he saw his 24-yard shot sail inches wide of the target.

Tunisia tried to find their way back into the game and were awarded a penalty on the 74th minute but Mali keeper Ibrahim Mounkoro saved the spot-kick from Wahbi Khazri.

The Carthage Eagles came close to leveling matters in the 85th minute when Belil Ifa met a cross into the box, but he saw his ten-yard header well-saved by the keeper.

Tunisia threw players forward in search of an equalising goal in the final five minutes but were unable to penetrate the Malian defence as Zambian referee Janny Sikwaze ended the game on the 89th minute without added time.


Tunisia: B. Ben Saïd, B. Ifa (S. Jaziri 82), A. Maâloul, H. Mathlouthi, D. Bronn, M. Talbi, N. Sliti (Y.Touzghar 78), E. Skhiri, A. Laïdouni (A. Ben Slimane 67), H. Mejbri (S. Khaoui 46), W. Khazri

Mali: I. Mounkoro, M. Haïdara, Hamari Traoré, F. Sacko, B. Kouyaté, Adama Noss Traoré (Y. Bissouma 59), D. Samassékou, A. Haïdara (L. Coulibaly 80), M. Djenepo (B. Toure 81), Adama Malouda Traoré (M. Doumbia 73), I. Kone (K. Coulibaly 74)




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