AFCON 2023: Mali secures quarterfinal spot after knocking out Burkina Faso


Mali soared into the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) quarterfinals with a thrilling 2-1 triumph over Burkina Faso, marking their first appearance in the last eight since 2013.

The Eagles displayed their prowess early on when Amadou Haidara’s powerful header rattled the woodwork, and Edmond Tapsoba’s unfortunate rebound into his own net gifted Mali the lead.

The encounter was a tale of relentless attacks and resilient defenses. Lassine Sinayoko, in scintillating form, extended Mali’s lead just after halftime, slipping past the offside trap to coolly slot the ball home.

Burkina Faso fought back, with a VAR-awarded penalty giving them a lifeline. Bertrand Traoré confidently converted the spot-kick, injecting fresh intensity into the game.

Mali’s defensive strength shone through in the face of Burkina Faso’s desperate attempts to equalize.

Despite a nerve-wracking moment in the 90th minute when Issoufou Dayo’s flick found the net, only to be ruled offside, Mali held their ground. Djigui Diarra’s key saves and a resolute backline secured their ticket to the quarterfinals.

This victory sets up a tantalizing clash with tournament hosts Ivory Coast in the next round. Mali’s journey in AFCON 2024 is marked by both skillful attacking plays and a determined defense, instilling newfound confidence as they eye a deeper run in the tournament.

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