FULL TIME: MALI 1-0 NIGER
On Saturday the competition started and ended goalless as Angola and Morocco drew 0-0 while hosts South Africa and Cape Verde produced a similar score line, all in Group A.
The Group B teams run a draw of Ghana 2-2 DR Congo at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth. Both teams did well though all of the two opponents were under each other’s pressure they didn’t lose themselves for each other.
Kickoff is at 18:00 (20:00GMT)
Port Elizabeth – Teams that opened Group B match of the African Cup of Nations was Ghana and the Democratic Republic of Congo at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Sunday. Mali vs Niger to follow also at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth.
Samassa, Fousseiny Diawara,
Ndiaye, Kalilou Traore,
Keita, Mahamane Traore,
Fantamady Diarra, Sigamary Diarra,
The two teams are paraded at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium ahead of the national anthems before they began. Mali playing from left to right in the first half and come into the encounter as the favourites to pick up the win.
Despite the small crowd this evening, the Vuvuzela’s are clearly audible at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Mali attacker’s breaks down as Seydou Keita can’t quite get his foot on the ball. Mali won a free kick on the left flank with Traore standing over the ball as Sidibe is waved back onto the pitch. Keita is picked out from the cross, but Diabate gets in his way and Niger can hold off the pressure and clear the danger. Meanwhile, Sidibe is currently receiving treatment off the pitch following a collision during the scramble.
Traore currently receiving treatment on the pitch following a collision with Soumalia. Free kick to Mali and Keita puts a ball over the top, but it evades everyone and goes through to Daouda. Mohamed Soumaïla received first booking. Corner here for Mali, their sixth of the evening, with Traore set to deliver. His ball to the near post isn’t fruitful and Niger clear. Mali quickly regains possession and substitute Samassa receives the ball on the left. He cuts onto his right and drags an effort just wide of the near post.
Mali the stronger of the two sides at the beginning of the second half has had the best chance of the game. Keita picks up the ball from distance and fires towards the Niger goal. Upon Daouda’s effort, they however, pushed the ball around the post for corner.
Niger players are really suffering from injuries as stretcher is called on with Maazou down and receiving treatment. However, he’s back on his feet and looks like he’ll be able to continue.
Playing possession between two teams Mali 53% and Niger 47% in these wise we can see that Mali is playing ball more than Niger. Boubacar Issoufou also received booking who is of Niger player.
In 84 minutes, GOAL!!! Diawara delivered into the box and it looks to be a routine catch for Daouda. The Niger goalkeeper fumbles, however, and the ball fell to Keita, who has the simplest of task of putting into an open net. It’s nothing less than he’s deserved after hitting the post earlier in the second half. As things stand, Mali will go to the top of Group B following the earlier draw between Ghana and DR Congo. Mamadou Samassa also received some booking.
And that’s full time in Port Elizabeth, Mali secured all the three points following the late strike from Keita and now finds themselves at the summit of Group B ahead of their encounter with Ghana. Niger will take some positives from the defeat, but now need to secure a win over DR Congo if they hope of making it to the next stage.