AFCON: Cote d’Ivoire narrowly advances against a profligate Mali, securing victory in extra time

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In a thrilling quarter-final clash at the 2023 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, Cote d’Ivoire secured a 2-1 victory over Mali, with Oumar Diakite’s dramatic back-heel goal in added time during extra time.

Despite facing adversity, being reduced to 10 men and falling behind to Nene Dorgeles’ goal, the Ivorians equalized with Simon Adingra’s strike in the 90th minute.

The turnaround marked a pivotal moment in Ivory Coast’s AFCON campaign, overcoming initial struggles to reach the knockout stage.

Cote d’Ivoire now advances to the semi-finals, where they will face DR Congo, who defeated Guinea 3-1 on Friday.

However, Ivory Coast will be without key players Diakite, Odilon Kossounou, Serge Aurier, and Christian Kouame due to suspensions.

This victory marked the sixth encounter between the two nations, with Ivory Coast, a two-time champion, boasting four victories and one draw in previous clashes against Mali.

 

The opposing team’s best performance in the tournament was as runners-up in 1972.

Looking ahead, the AFCON semi-finals are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, setting the stage for intense battles as teams vie for a coveted spot in the final.

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