Friday Oct 06, 2017. 23:21
Mali and Ivory Coast drew 0-0 in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification (CAF) Group C match at the Stade du 26 Mars in Bamako on Friday.
The draw ends Mali's hopes of qualifying as they remain fourth on the group standings, while Ivory Coast remain at the top of the table with one game left.
The home side enjoyed more ball possession in the opening stages with Adama Niane and Yves Bissouma working tirelessly for Mali.
However, the Eagles found it difficult to unlock the Ivory Coast defence which was marshalled by England-based defender Eric Bailly.
Mali were awarded a free-kick in a promising area in the 27th minute and Bissouma unleashed a shot which missed the target frrom the set-piece.
Moussa Djenepo, who had replaced injured Adama Traore in the 40th minute, saw his header saved by Ivory Coast goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo just before the half-time break.
The score was 0-0 between the Eagles and the Elephants in Bamako, the capital city of Mali. The hosts had dominated the first-half, but they could not turn their possession into a goal.
Ivory Coast coach Marc Wilmots made a substitution just before the second-half - introducing Sekou Sanogo for Geoffroy Serey Die.
Bissouma continued to boss the midfield and he tried to play a through pass for Moussa Doumbia in the 66th minute, but the latter was caught offside.
Time was running out for Mali, who were placed fourth on the Group C standings, and Amadou Haidara was introduced as the hosts searched for a late winning goal.
Mali and Ivory Coast launched late attacks, but they could not score, and the encounter ended in a goalless stalemate.
Mali (0) 0
Ivory Coast (0) 0
Mali: Diarra, Wagué, Traoré, Koné, Fofana, Doumbia, Samassekou , Diarra, Bissouma (Haidara 80'), Niane (Coulibaly 63'), Traore (Djenepo 40').
Ivory Coast: Gbohouo, Aurier, Kanon, Bailly, Konan, Dié (Sanogo 46'), Gbamin, Kessié, Kodjia, Cornet, Assalé (Kalou 67').