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2022 World Cup Qualifiers

Tunisia Edge Unlucky Mali For Key Win

A Moussa Sissako own-goal helped Mali beat Tunisia 1-0 in a African Third Round 2022 World Cup qualifier at the Stade du 26 Mars on Friday night.

The well attended clash got off to exciting tempo, as both side’s were looking to go on the attack from the onset.

It was Mali who came close to opening the scoring as early as the third minute, with Ibrahima Kone’s cross nearly catching out Ben Said , who got down well to parry the effort away.

While a minute later,  Mali goalkeeper Ibrahim Mounkoro was forced into save to keep out Youssef Msakni’s  effort from 18-yards out.

Abdoulay Diaby was denied at the near post but Ben Said could do nothing about the Eagles of Mali talisman’s 15th minute effort.

On the other end poor clearance from Massadio Haïdara saw Ghaylène Chaalali pick up the ball on the edge of the area and he uncorked an absolute belter that flew into the top corner.

Tunisia went ahead in the 36th minute when Moussa Sissako scored an unfortunate own goal as his back pass beat goalkeeper Ibrahim Mounkoro.

Four minutes later, Mali were reduced to ten men after Sissako was shown a straight red card in the 40th minute for denying the visitors a clear goal-scoring opportunity.

Kone fired Haidara’s low cross wide of the upright as Mali began to push for an equaliser but the Eagles had to go into the break trailing.

Tunisia began to take control of the game in the second half and started to dominate possession more and more.

The Carthage Eagles were showing patience and composure as they probed for an opening in the final third.

It should have been 2-0 on 75 minutes when Taha Yassine played a fine cross from the right to pick out Nader, but the substitute swept a shot onto the right-hand post of  Mounkoro, the second time the Carthage Eagles struck the frame of their opponent’s goal.

Mali had created few attacking openings through the match, but they would have made Tunisians hearts stop for just a second on 81 minutes when substitute Mamodou Fofana completed a neat turn and shot from the edge of the box, but his well-struck effort was directed straight Ben Said.

How they lined up:

Mali: Mounkoro, C. Traore (Doumbia 83′), Sissako, Kouyaté, M. Haïdara, A. Haïdara, Doucouré (M, Fofana 46′), Bissouma, Dorgeles (Djenepo 46′), Diaby (Guindo 90’+1), Koné (A. Traore 46′).

Tunisia: Ben Saïd, Dräger, Ghandri, Talbi, Maâloul, Chaalali, Ben Romdhane, Laïdouni, Sliti (Ben Ouannes 85′), Msakni (Ben Slimane 85′), Jaziri (Khenissi 65′).


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