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2022 World Cup Qualifiers

Mali Secure Narrow Win Over Rwanda

Mali kicked off their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign with a 1-0 victory over Rwanda in Agadir on Wednesday evening.

The Eagles were forced to use a neutral stadium away in Morocco as they don’t have a stadium that fulfills the required standards set by the Confederation of African Football and FIFA to host international matches.

Eager to book their place for the first time in history, the Eagles of Mali flexed their muscles to move top of the group before Kenya versus Uganda game set to be played later on Thursday.

Lens ace, Cheick Doucouré, took a backseat as Hatayspor striker Adama Traore caught the eye in Agadir with the all important goal at the Moroccan city.

Traore scored the lone goal in the 19th minute with a beautiful finish after rounding off Rwanda goalkeeper Emery Mvuyekure to slot in home.

A minute earlier, Mvuyekure had saved a penalty when Moussa Djenepo was fouled inside the Rwandan area and from the spot he tried to score himself, but was stopped by the Tusker FC custodian.

Rwanda came very close to draw level through a low rasping strike from a tight angle by Meddie Kagere a few minutes later following a throw-in.

The Eagles nearly snatched a second on the right half-hour mark after a palm by goalkeeper Mvuyekure fell straight at Moussa Djenepo but the midfielder failed to slot into an unguarded net.

Rwanda looked energised soon following the break moreover from a smart shot out on the near side by Djihad Bizimana which worked a save off Mali goalkeeper Ibrahim Mounkoro.

Mali struggled to deal with the pressure from the visitors late on and needed a goal-line clearance from Falaye Sacko to thwart Jacques Tuyisenge’s long-range dink.

The Eagles will travel to Uganda in their next Group E outing in September 6, while  Rwanda will welcome Kenya.


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