MATCH CENTRE

SAT 11 NOVEMBER 2017, 16:30,

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Mali wrap up 2018 WC Qualifiers without a win

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Sat November 11, 19:06

Mali played to a dull 0-0 draw in their final 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers match against Gabon at Stade de Franceville on Saturday.

The stalemate in front of the away crowds leaves the Malians sitting at the bottom of the standings with four points after six matches.

However with both camps desperately chasing a win, the encounter started on a low note as both sides employed a cautious approach and chances were few and far in the first 10-15 minutes.

But it was the Les Aigles who dominated the proceedings in as far as the ball possession is concerned, yet they were not clinical upfront to grab the lead.

Both camps had a number of attempts at goal, with both sharing four, there were none on target and both goalkeepers, Didier Ovono and Djigui Diarra, were not tested in the opening half.

There were no goals at the end of the opening stanza.

In the second half, coach Yacouba Sylla's charges pushed forward in search of their opening goal, yet they were unable to break the stubborn Panthers' defence.

Coach Jorge Costa introduced changes after 10 minutes into the second half, but they were not decisive in the final third to break the deadlock.

With the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations hosts struggling to find the back of the net, the stalemate sees them consolidating the third spot in the group.

In their campaign, Gabon have won one match, drew three and lost two matches.

Gabon 0
Mali 0

Gabon: Ovono, Ondele, Assoumou (Obambou 74'), Ecuele, Obiang, Palun, Madinda, Meye, Otoo (Biteghe 87'), Biyogho, Ameka (Boupendza 54')

Mali: Diarra, Kone, Samassekou, Niane, Doumbia, Wague, A. Traore (Djenepo 71'), Sacko, Traore, Bissouma (Diarra 71'), Fofana

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