Mali 1-0 Cote d’Ivoire

Yves Bisouma was the difference as Mali defeated Ivory Coast 1-0 to qualify for the finals of 2016 African Nations Championship (Chan) on Thursday at the Kigali Regional Stadium in Nyamirambo.

It is the first time Mali is qualifying for the finals of any continental national competition and will play 2009 winners Congo on Sunday.

As early as the eighth minute, Mali were in foul trouble after Lassana Samake was booked for bringing down Atcho Hemann. Ivory Coast’s Khrahire Yannick Zakri and Hemann were becoming a pain in Mali’s defense and the former also forced Diarra Sekou into the referee’s book.

A minute later midfielder Esiss Baudelaire beat Djigui Diarra with his shot but failed to beat the post as Ivory Coast showed their intentions early enough.

Djedje Franck was also denied by Moussa Doumbia after 14 minutes in what would have been a goal on another day. Mali’s Sekou Keita also got close after 27 minutes but Djigui wasn’t to be beaten that early.

Ivory Coast’s Ibrahim Comara was also booked by Egyptian official Ibrahim Nour El Din for handling the ball in the forbidden area.

Mali’s Mamadou Doumbia failed to convert the resulting penalty after it was saved by Badra Ali Sagnare but the goalie was eventually beaten with two minutes to play by substitute Yves Bissouma who was later booked for taking his shirt off in celebration.

Ivory Coast never recovered and will vie for bronze with Guinea on Sunday.

Mali XI: Djigui Diarra, Diarra Sekou, Hamidou Sinayoko, Mamadou Coulibaly, Massaba Samake, Moussa Sissoko, Mamadou Doumbia (N’Guessan Koumane), Aliou Dieng, Abdoulaye Diarra, Abdoul Karim Karim Dante, Sekou Koita (Yves Bissouma)

Unused Subs: Samuel Diarra, Ousmane Diarra, Traore Abdoulaye, Isaaka Samake, Assoko Hamed Marius, Abdoul Toure, Lamine Traore, Oumar Kone, Yaya Samake, Alassane Diallo

Ivory Coast XI: Badra Ali Sangare, Marcelin Koffi, Mahan Marc Goua, Essis Baudelaire, Soualio Dibala, Atcho Hemann, Yannick Zakri, Yace Marius (Nilmar Treika), Yao Serge, Djed Franck (Dagou Willie), Cheick Comara

Unused Subs: Drissa Bamba, Gbagnon Badie, Adams Kangoute, Koffi Davy, Diallo Kouame, Dominique Anderson, Wassawaly Eric, Nilmar Treika, Inza Diabate, Soualiho Coulibaly, Abdoul Karim Cisse

Senior staff writer at Kawowo Sports mainly covering volleyball, football and badminton

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