Barea frustrate Les Aigles in Johannesburg

Barea frustrate Les Aigles in Johannesburg
El Bilal Toure of Mali challenged by Sebastien Demoleon of Madagascar during the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers 2026 match between Madagascar and Mali at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on 11 June 2024 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Staff Reporter

Tuesday Jun 11, 2024. 17:09

In what was one of the most intense matches of the current CAF 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Madagascar and Mali played to a 0-0 draw at the FNB Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Mali dominated play during the first 15 minutes of the game and were yet to concede a goal scoring opportunity during this period. Then, Madagascar were reduced to 10-men in the 16th minute, after El Bilal Toure was deliberately fouled by Louis Demoleon while being the last player through on goal.

Barea struggled under Mali’s pressure midway through the first-half as Les Aigles continued to ask questions going forward. In being on the receiving end of waves of attacks, Madagascar battled to progress the ball up field.

Mali actively searched for an opener en-route to the half-time whistle as Madagascar suffered in attack as a result of being a man light.

However, Barea did well to stifle Mali’s attacking advancements as the score remained at 0-0 going into the break.

It was more of the same for Mali after the restart as Les Aigles carved out numerous openings during the first 10 minutes of the second-half.

With the score tied at 0-0 after 75 minutes on the clock, Mali continued to apply forward pressure in the hope of getting their names on the scoresheet. More than happy to soak up the pressure, Madagascar’s low block defence often frustrated Malian attackers.

Mali came close to opening the scoring in the 82nd minute of the match as Adama Traore struck the upright with a calmly place shot on the edge of the Madagascar area.

After surviving numerous attacks late on in the tie, Madagascar’s valiant defensive effort paid off in the end as the two sides shared the spoils at the FNB Stadium. As it stands, Madagascar occupy 2nd spot in Group I, while Mali end the current game week in 4th position.

Madagascar: Laiton, Fontaine, Démoléon, Rabemanantsoa, Fortun (Millimono 83’), Amada, Couturier, Raveloson, Lapoussin (Randriatsiferana 69’), Randrianarijaona (Randrianantenaina 94’), Andriamatsinoro (Andrianantenaina 69’)

Mali: Diarra, Fofana, Sagnan, Diakite (Sylla 88’), Duindo, Coulibaly, Dieng (Traore 71’), Camara, Doumbia (Dorgeles 71’), Sinayoko (Niakate 90’), Toure

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