Afcon 2021: Mali see off Mauritania to top group

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Ibrahima Kone celebrates his penalty against MauritaniaIbrahima Kone has 11 goals in nine appearances for Mali, and three at this year's Nations Cup

Mali secured top spot in Group F at the Africa Cup of Nations with a comfortable 2-0 win over Mauritania, who were already out of the tournament.

The opening goal was scored in the second minute by former Newcastle defender Massadio Haidara.

Mali doubled their tally shortly after half-time when Ibrahima Kone smashed in his third penalty in Cameroon after Moussa Doumbia was brought down.

Sarpsborg striker Kone now has 11 goals in nine international matches.

The win means Mali win the group on goal difference and will play Equatorial Guinea in the round of 16, while Mauritania exit as the only team at the Nations Cup without a point.

Assured showing by Eagles

The opener came in just the second minute after some good work down the right.

Doumbia failed to connect cleanly with a cross into the box, but Lens' Haidara was free to bounce the ball back across goal and inside the right-hand upright.

Mali dominated the first half and created the better chances, with Mauritania having to make do with set piece opportunities.

The Eagles passed the ball well and, after Doumbia was fouled by Souleymane Karamoko, Norway-based Kone flashed his powerful spot-kick past Babacar Diop.

Mauritania's best chances of getting back into the game came from free kicks, but first Guessouma Fofana hit his straight at the keeper and then Adama Ba forced a much more difficult save from Ibrahim Mounkoro.

Kone, who sits two goals behind Cameroon's Vincent Aboubakar in the race for the golden boot, had a chance to add to his tally but he dragged his shot across goal and wide of the far post.

Haidara was later denied his second of the game by a smart Diop save from a free-kick.

While Mauritania head home without even a goal to their name, Mali will travel back along the coast to Limbe, where they played their first two group games, to take on Algeria's conquerors Equatorial Guinea, who finished runners-up in Group E.

Line-ups

Mali

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Mounkoro
  • 2TraoréSubstituted forSissakoat 64'minutes
  • 17Sacko
  • 5Kouyaté
  • 6Haïdara
  • 4HaïdaraSubstituted forDiengat 82'minutes
  • 20BissoumaBooked at 60minsSubstituted forCamaraat 63'minutes
  • 14Malouda TraoréSubstituted forSinayokoat 74'minutes
  • 21Traoré
  • 7Doumbia
  • 18KonéSubstituted forCoulibalyat 75'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Traoré
  • 10Coulibaly
  • 11Coulibaly
  • 12Sissako
  • 13Coulibaly
  • 15Fofana
  • 16Diarra
  • 22Diawara
  • 23Dieng
  • 25Sinayoko
  • 26Camara
  • 28Traoré

Mauritania

Formation 4-3-3

  • 22DiopSubstituted forN'Diayeat 81'minutes
  • 4Abou DembaSubstituted forKaramokoat 39'minutes
  • 14Dellahi
  • 3AbeidBooked at 48mins
  • 20Abderrahmane
  • 23SoueidSubstituted forLekweiryat 62'minutes
  • 8Fofana
  • 18Mouhsine
  • 11CamaraSubstituted forBaat 61'minutes
  • 25
  • 7ThiamBooked at 78minsSubstituted forYacoubat 81'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1N'Diaye
  • 2Karamoko
  • 9Tanjy
  • 10Ba
  • 12N'Diaye
  • 13Diarra
  • 15Doukara
  • 17Mahmoud
  • 19Coulibaly
  • 24Yacoub
  • 26Lekweiry
  • 28Thiam

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Mali 2, Mauritania 0.

  2. Second Half ends, Mali 2, Mauritania 0.

  3. Foul by Lassine Sinayoko (Mali).

  4. Adama Ba (Mauritania) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  5. Attempt blocked. Adama Ba (Mauritania) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  6. Foul by Adama Noss Traoré (Mali).

  7. Adama Ba (Mauritania) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Mohamed Camara (Mali) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Foul by Mohamed Dellahi (Mauritania).

  10. Foul by Moussa Doumbia (Mali).

  11. Sidi Yacoub (Mauritania) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  12. Attempt missed. Aliou Dieng (Mali) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Lassine Sinayoko.

  13. Corner, Mali. Conceded by Aly Abeid.

  14. Moussa Doumbia (Mali) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Foul by Sidi Yacoub (Mauritania).

  16. Mohamed Camara (Mali) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Foul by Sidi Yacoub (Mauritania).

  18. Lassine Sinayoko (Mali) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Foul by Adama Ba (Mauritania).

  20. Substitution, Mali. Aliou Dieng replaces Amadou Haïdara.

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