MAL 1-2 CIV (AET): Match Review As The Elephants Advance To The Semi-final Phase Of 2023 AFCON


In a thrilling encounter on their home turf, ten-man Ivory Coast secured a spot in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) semi-finals, edging past Mali 2-1.

The drama began early with a contentious penalty decision, overturned by VAR due to an offside call against Haidara. Mali's frustration turned to joy as they were later awarded a penalty, only for Adama Traoré's spot-kick to be expertly saved by Ivory Coast's goalkeeper Yahia Fofana.

The momentum shifted dramatically when Ivory Coast's Kossounou received a yellow card for a challenge in the box and was subsequently sent off. Despite relentless pressure from Mali, the first half ended 0-0, setting the stage for an intense second period. Ivory Coast's interim boss Emerse Faé made tactical changes, and Mali's Nene Dorgeles stunned the stadium with a sublime goal, giving his team the lead.

Facing elimination on home soil, 10-man Ivory Coast staged a desperate comeback. Simon Adringa equalized in the 90th minute after a series of deflections, sending the match into extra time. Both teams fought fiercely, with Sébastien Haller hitting the bar for Ivory Coast. In the dying moments of extra time, Oumar Diakite flicked in a shot from Seko Fofana, securing a dramatic victory for Ivory Coast.

The home crowd erupted in celebration, contrasting with the disappointment and frustration among the Malian players. Ivory Coast now advances to face the Democratic Republic of Congo in the semi-finals, marking their return to the AFCON semi-finals for the first time since 2015.

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