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Mali beat South Africa in the Group E opener to go top

Mali beat South Africa in Group E opener to go top

On Wednesday, South Africa suffered an opening African Cup of Nations Group E 2-0 defeat to Mali at the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium.

Goals Hamari Traore and Lassine Sinayoko were enough as the Les Aigles Mali topped off the group – Namibia in second after they stunned North African giant Tunisia 1-0 in the early kickoff at the same venue.

South Africa was the better side in the opening 45 minutes but failed to take any of their chances. 

A penalty was awarded to South Africa after an elbow to the face from Mali defender Sikou Niakate on Evidence Makgopa confirmed after VAR review.

The 1996 champions missed a glorious chance to take the lead after Al Ahly striker Percy Tau sent a penalty over the bar for Bafana Bafana.

However, Mali took control after Traore opened the scoring for the Les Aigles from tapped in the rebound after Sekou Koita’s free-kick hit the woodwork.

Mali capitalised to net their second when Sinayoko seized on Kamory Doumbia’s pass to rifle the second from inside the box six minutes to ensure victory for the West Africans.

As a result, Mali has won all three Afcon games they have played against South Africa, having beaten them at the 2002 and 2013 editions.

Mali takes on Tunisia on Saturday as South Africa battle with Namibia on Sunday in their East Africa derby.

Connect with us @football_sierra on Facebook/ Instagram, Football Sierra Leone, and the Writer Alie Bittar on Twitter @bittar32 African News.

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