Unbeaten Mali ease past South Sudan

Unbeaten Mali ease past South Sudan
Mali midfielder Adama Traore

by Graeme Jackson

Saturday Mar 23, 2019. 23:07

Mali ended their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign with a 3-0 win over South Sudan at the Stade du 26 Mars in Bamako on Saturday evening, to end four points clear atop Group C.

The Eagles had already booked their place at this year's tournament last year and were hosting a Bright Stars outfit who were out of qualifying contention.

Nonetheless, the game had to go ahead and Mali didn't rest on their laurels as Nantes forward Kalifa Coulibaly fired the hosts in front with 16 minutes on the clock.

Belgium-based Moussa Djenepo doubled Mali's lead in the 27th minute as fears of another South Sudan drubbing started to emerge.

The visitors, though, were able to firm things up in defence as the game progressed, but their backline would be penetrated once more in second-half stoppage time as Adama Traore put the icing on a comprehensive win for the home side.

Victory moves Mali up to 14 points from their allotted fixtures. The unbeaten West Africans registered four wins and two draws from their six matches.

South Sudan end their campaign bottom of the group having failed to conjure a single point.

Burundi will join Mali at this year's showpiece in Egypt following their 1-1 draw against Gabon in Bujumbura earlier today. The result sealed their passage to a first AFCON tournament in their history.

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