Wilfried Zaha of Ivory Coast celebrates goal with teammates during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals last 16 match between Mali and Ivory Coast at Suez Stadium, Suez, Egypt on 08 July 2019 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Monday Jul 08, 2019. 20:15
Ivory Coast set up an appetising 2019 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final clash against Algeria following a 1-0 win over Mali at Suez Stadium in Suez on Monday evening.
The Eagles were the better side for most of the match, but were ultimately undone by a Wilfried Zaha sucker punch late in the second half, as they fell victim to the Elephants at an African showpiece for the umpteenth time.
Ivory Coast will now face Algeria for a place in the final four at the same venue on Thursday evening.
Sylvain Gbohouo was the only goalkeeper called into action in the first half, with the first chance for Mali coming after an error from the shot-stopper in the 17th minute. Lucky for him, Abdoulay Diaby failed to find the back of the net after he'd fumbled the ball from a corner-kick.
The Mali skipper then forced the TP Mazembe shot-stopper into a good save as the Eagles headed into the break well on top, but with nothing to show for their efforts.
Moussa Djénepo missed a further gilt-edged chance following the interval before Zaha's winner in the 76th minute of the match.
A rather hopeful ball forward found it's way to the Crystal Palace winger who made no mistake in sliding the ball home under an onrushing Djigui Diarra to fire the Elephants into the next round.
Mali (0) 0
Ivory Coast (0) 1 (Zaha 76')
Mali: Diarra; H.Traore, Kone, Wague, Fofana, Haidara (A.Traore Noss 63'), Samassekou, L.Coulibaly (K. Coulibaly 80'), Djenepo, Diaby (A.Traore 53'), Marega.
Ivory Coast: Gbohouo; Coulibaly, Gbamin, I.Traore, Fofana, Die, Kanon, Kessie, Zaha, Pepe (Cornet 68'), Kodjia (Bony 84').