Mali seal quarterfinal place with win over Burkina Faso

football30 January 2024 19:15| © Backpage TXT

Mali continued to flex their muscles at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations this week and subsequently booked their spot in the quarterfinals of the tournament following a nervy 2-1 win over Burkina Faso at the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium on Tuesday night.

With Burkina Faso crashing out of the competition, the victory will see Mali take on hosts Ivory Coast in Bouake 3 February.

Burkina Faso got the game off to the worst possible start, with Edmond Tapsoba opening the scoring with an own goal.

With Sikou Niakate dinking the ball into the 18-yard-area from deep, Amadou Haidara’s header slammed against the post before Tapsoba nudged the ball into the back of the net on the rebound.

Mali continued to see more of the ball after taking the lead and dominated the game toward the cooling break.

Les Aigles created a couple of goal-scoring chances during the first half hour of the game which left Burkina Faso with much to do.

Burkina Faso looked shaky after the water break as Mali put the Stallions under pressure on numerous occasions toward the half-time break.

Hamari Traore provided Burkina Faso with a rare attacking opportunity in the 39th minute, however, the Mali full-back did well to stifle the attack.

Mali doubled their advantage three minutes into the new half as Lassine Sinayoko got his name on the scoresheet.

After beating the offside trap en-route to goal, the attacker did well to slot the ball between the goalkeeper’s legs and into the back of the net.

With Les Aigles controlling the game after the restart, Burkina Faso was awarded a lifeline shortly before the hour-mark as Boubakar Kouyaté was spotted handling the ball inside his area.

In stepping up to the spot, Aston Villa striker Bertrand Traore sent the Mali goalkeeper the wrong way with a calm finish.

With the wind in their sails after scoring, Burkina Faso pushed the opposing defenders on the backfoot as Mali appeared to have been rattled by Traore’s effort.

The game reached a tacky period after the 75th minute mark, with neither side creating any notable scoring opportunities.

Nevertheless, Burkina Faso continued to search for an equaliser in swift counter-attacking situations.

Burkina Faso knocked on Mali’s door late on and pushed hard for an equaliser, however, the Mali defence held tight and did enough to record a crucial 2-1 win at the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium.

Mali: (1) 2

(Tapsoba 3’ OG, Sinayoko 47’ )

Burkina Faso: (0) 1

(B.Traore 57’)

Mali: Diarra, Traore, Kouyate, Niakate, Sacko, Camara (Fofana 93’), Coulibaly, Haidara (Samassekou 74’), Doumbia, Sinayoko (B. Traore 93’), Traore

Burkina Faso: Koffi, Yago (Badolo 46’), Tapsoba, Dayo, Kabore, Toure, Ouedraogo (Banse 68’), Sangare (Ki 87’), A.Tapsoba (Nagalo 46’), Konate, B.Traore ( Ouattara 77’)