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Dominant Mali Secures Convincing 2-0 Victory Against South Africa in Afcon Opener

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Mali showcased their strong ambition for the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations, Cote d’Ivoire 2023, as they comfortably defeated South Africa 2-0 during Tuesday’s Group E clash.

 

In a lively start, both teams exchanged attacks, but it was Sekou Koita and Lassine Sinayoko who secured Mali’s triumph in Korhogo.

 

Lassine Sinayoko had a chance to put Mali ahead in the fourth minute, but his shot was thwarted by Ronwen Williams’ quick reflex save. Meanwhile, Percy Tau threatened Mali’s goal, prompting a solid save from Djigui Diarra.

 

Tau missed a golden opportunity to give Bafana Bafana the lead, skying a 19th-minute penalty over the bar after VAR awarded the spot-kick.

 

Mali intensified their pressure in the second half, with Amadou Haidara hitting the crossbar before Hamari Traore scored the opener in the 60th minute. Sinayoko extended Mali’s lead five minutes later with a well-placed shot through Williams’ legs.

 

Despite a late rally from South Africa, including Themba Zwane’s free-kick hitting the woodwork, they couldn’t avoid defeat.

 

The victory propels Mali to the top of Group E on goal difference over Namibia, who earlier stunned Tunisia 1-0 on Tuesday.

 

Based on their performance, Mali, with players of caliber such as Yves Bissouma, Amadou Haidara, and Koita, seem well-equipped to make a significant impact in Cote d’Ivoire.

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