Sinayoko Scores As Mali Set Up AFCON Clash With Ivory Coast

 Sinayoko Scores As Mali Set Up AFCON Clash With Ivory Coast

Written by Odunayo

Mali secured a spot in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals by defeating Burkina Faso 2-1. Lassine Sinayoko scored his third goal in the tournament, helping Mali reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2013.

The match saw an early own goal by Edmond Tapsoba, giving Mali a strong start. Sinayoko doubled the lead just after half-time, while Bertrand Traore reduced the arrears for Burkina Faso with a penalty.

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Mali, who faced two first-round and two last-16 exits in the past 11 years, now set their sights on the quarter-final clash against hosts Ivory Coast. Morocco, the 2022 World Cup semi-finalists, will meet South Africa in another last-16 match.

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Sinayoko expressed the challenges faced against Burkina Faso but emphasized the importance of the victory. Mali made six changes from their previous match, securing a 0-0 draw with Namibia in the group stage.

Burkina Faso, runners-up in Group D, made four changes to their lineup.

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The match witnessed Mali's early dominance with a quick own goal by Tapsoba, marking the second-fastest goal in the tournament's history. Despite the intense heat, Mali maintained control, and Sinayoko's goal in the second half proved crucial.

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Burkina Faso fought back, with Traore converting a penalty to halve the lead. However, their efforts were hampered when Issoufou Dayo's late goal was ruled offside.

The match showcased Mali's determination, setting the stage for a challenging quarter-final clash with Ivory Coast.

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