Amadou Haidara of Mali (4) celebrates goal with teammates during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations match between Angola and Mali at the Ismailia Stadium, Ismailia on the 02 July 2019 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Tuesday Jul 02, 2019. 23:00
Angola hopes of advancing into the last 16 of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations were dashed on Tuesday night when they succumbed 1-0 at the hands of Group E winners Mali in Ismailia.
The Eagles top the pool and go through to face Ivory Coast in the next round, with their clash against a fellow West African heavyweight set for the Suez Stadium next Monday.
The Palancas Negras, meanwhile, finished third but their record is not strong enough to qualify as one of the four ‘lucky losers’ to advance.
Angola had a wonderful chance to claim the lead as early as the fourth minute, with Gelson Dala put clean through on goal and with only Djigui Diarra to beat, but the forward put a tame shot straight into the arms of the goalkeeper.
Angola’s ‘keeper Toni Cabaca pulled off two good saves in quick succession just after the quarter-hour mark to deny Adama Traore and Falaye Sacko, as Mali began to move through the gears and show their class in attack.
On 32 minutes the Eagles came close again, with Kalifa Coulibaly getting on the end of a corner kick and sending a glancing header just wide of the far post.
Yet the West African heavyweights didn’t have to wait much longer to take the lead, with Amadou Haidara ripping home a superb long-range shot in the 37th minute to make it 1-0 to Mali – a lead they held up to the half-time interval.
The Palancas Negras opted for a double change early in the second half, sending on Wilson Eduardo and Manuel Show in an effort to bolster their attack and get back in the game.
Yet they never really threatened Diarra in the Mali goal, struggling to put together any sustained pressure. In fact, the Eagles looked the likelier scorers through the second half, using their pace and power to good effect.
Mali (1) 1 (A. Haidara 37’)
Angola: Cabaca, Gaspar, Massunguna, Paizo, Bastos, Herenilson, Djalma, Fredy (Show 52’), Dala, Geraldo (Mabululu 81’), Mateus (Eduardo 52’)
Mali: Diarra, Kouyate, Wague, Sacko, A. Haidara (Omar 73’), M. Haidara, L. Coulibaly, Noss, Doumbia (Koita 58’), K. Coulibaly, Traore (Marega 81’)