2023 AFCON: Eagles of Mali soar with 2-0 win over South Africa

South Africa’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations campaign got off to a poor start after they were beaten 2-0 by Group E rivals Mali at the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium in Korhogo on Tuesday night.

Bafana Bafana put up a strong showing in the first half but failed to take their chances – including a missed penalty – and was made to pay by the Eagles in the second stanza, as Hamari Traore and Lassine Sinayoko found the back of the net to see them join Namibia (who stunned Tunisia earlier in the evening) at the top of the group standings on three points.

The teams traded chances in the opening quarter-hour before South Africa was awarded a penalty after a VAR review for an elbow from Mali defender Sikou Niakate on Evidence Makgopa. However, Percy Tau struck the 18th-minute penalty high and wide.

Tau had another great chance in 35 minutes when a long pass from midfield put him in on goal, but his right-footed shot from a right angle was turned away by goalkeeper Djigui Diarra.

The West Africans claimed the lead in the 60th minute via Hamari Traore, who easily tapped home on the goal line after Sekou Koita’s shot direct from a free kick had the beating of Williams and rebounded off the underside of the crossbar.

Six minutes later Mali doubled their advantage, with Sinayoko shrugging off Siyanda Xulu before providing a classy stabbed finish past Williams – all after they had once again caught South Africa trying to play out from the back.

Source: SuperSport

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