Mali Advances to Quarter-finals, Set to Face Ivory Coast in Africa Cup of Nations Clash

Mali secured their spot in the quarter-finals of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations after a hard-fought victory over Burkina Faso, setting up a thrilling encounter with tournament hosts Ivory Coast.

The Eagles took an early lead in the third minute courtesy of an own goal by Edmond Tapsoba, setting the tone for a dominant display in the first half. Despite several missed opportunities, Mali doubled their advantage early in the second half when Lassine Sinayoko found the net with a precise finish past goalkeeper Herve Koffi.

However, Burkina Faso fought back, with Bertrand Traore converting a penalty just before the hour mark to narrow the deficit. As the match approached its conclusion, Issoufou Dayo appeared to have secured an equalizer for Burkina Faso with a header from a free-kick, only for it to be disallowed for offside.

Despite the late scare, Mali managed to hold on during eight minutes of added time, securing their place in the quarter-finals for the first time since 2013. Eric Chelle’s side now prepares to take on Ivory Coast in what promises to be a thrilling encounter on Saturday at 17:00 GMT, with a coveted spot in the semi-finals at stake.

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