Tuesday Nov 12, 2019. 10:30
Mali became the first team to bow out of the Africa Under-23 Cup of Nations following a 1-0 loss to Cameroon in their Group A clash on Monday.
It is a second defeat in a row for the west Africans, who now cannot make the semifinals and face Ghana in a consolation game in their final pool match on Thursday.
After a tight battle that looked as though it could be heading for a stalemate, Cameroon’s Frank Evina fired the ball home after some indecisive defending in the Mali box to seal the win.
Cameroon now need just a point in their final pool match against hosts Egypt to be sure of a semifinal berth.
“We had a great game and deserved to win. Against Ghana we surrendered our win in the last three minutes and this had us under pressure. Tonight we were strong enough to grab maximum points,” Cameroon coach Rigobert Song said.
His Mali counterpart Fanyieri Diarra says they will try their best to get something from the Ghana game.
“This is football. Sometimes you do everything but you just can’t win. We will give our best for a positive result against Ghana despite the fact we are already disqualified,” he said.