Mamadou Doumbia, Mohamoud Barry and Ange Martial have sent Mali to the Semi Final stage of the ongoing U17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), following a 3-0 win over Congo this Thursday, as well as a ticket to the World Cup.
The two time champions exhibited a quest for victory through their dominance in this clash that saw them open scores seven minutes into the game through Ange Martial who benefited from a Doumbia assist.
Prolific striker Doumbia doubled few minutes after half the hour mark to score his third goal in three straight matches for the team. His finishing came following a cross from Barry across the box after attempts to find the net to no avail.
Barry’s own efforts paid off with a goal from the penalty spot at the 56th minute after a handball infringement in the box.
Several attempts at goal from the Congolese side failed to yield fruits and the frustration was worsened when Mali’s goalkeeper Bourama Kone saved their own penalty kick, to continue his record of not conceding a goal since the start of the tournament.
Coach Soumaila Coulibaly’s boys have now set up a semi final date with Morocco scheduled for Sunday, May 14 in Annaba.
Mali made it to the quarterfinal top of group C, ahead of Cameroon and second place Burkina Faso. Unlike Congo who managed to reach this stage as best third, having failed to win a single match.
In addition to securing a semi final spot, the West African team will be one of CAF’s representative at the 2023 FIFA U17 World Cup scheduled for later this year.
Mali is in search of a third AFCON title after missing out on the last edition in Tanzania in 2019. Though remains amongst the five most successful countries, having emerged champions in 2015 and 2017.
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