Haidara rocket puts Mali top, sends South Africa through

Reuters , Tuesday 2 Jul 2019,
Angola v Mali
Mali's Amadou Haidara reacts after scoring their first goal with Mali's Adama Traore and Angola's Dani Massunguna (Photo: REUTERS)

A majestic strike by Mali midfielder Amadou Haidara secured a 1-0 win over Angola as they won their group, eliminated their opponents at the Africa Cup of Nations on Tuesday and also sent South Africa into the last 16.

Haidara rifled home from outside the penalty area in the 37th minute as Mali, one of the tournament's dark horses, set up an intriguing knockout round clash with neighbours Ivory Coast.

The Malians, already qualified, finished Group E with two wins and a draw from their three games. Angola ended up third with two points, which was not enough to take them through as one of the best third-placed teams.

Angola, who scored one goal in three games, had plenty of possession and created several openings but their attack lacked punch. Tunisia took second spot with three points after a 0-0 draw with bottom side Mauritania, who finished with two.

South Africa finished with three points in their group and qualified along with Benin, Guinea and Democratic Republic of Congo as the best third-placed teams.

Gelson Dala breached the Mali defence but shot straight at goalkeeper Djigui Diarra in the fifth minute, a miss that Angola would later regret.

Mali fired their first warning with an Adama Traore shot which Toni Cabaca turned away for a corner before Haidara broke the deadlock.

He collected a pass from Moussa Doumbia outside the area, took one stride forward and thumped a rising shot into the goal from 25 metres.

Angola created plenty of openings in the second half but were let down by a poor final pass.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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