Ivory Coast have booked their ticket for the semifinals of 2023 AFCON thanks to a sensational last-minute goal by Diakite, MySportDab reports.
The Elephants crossed swords with the Malians in another rollercoaster AFCON quarterfinal clash at the Bouate Stadium. It was a cagey affair between the two sides aiming for a slot in the last four of the tournament.
Ivory Coast wielded more possession but could not find a way through Mali’s defense. Despite coming under intense pressure, Mali were deadlier in the attack than the Ivoriens.
After a marathon of offensives and counter-offensives, it was still barren at the break as the two sides fell to score. Meanwhile, Ivory Coast were down to 10 men before the break as Kossouno was sent off after bagging his second yellow card.
With the hosts down to 10 men, Mali leveraged their numerical advantage to dominate proceedings in the second half but could not find the back of the net until late in the 71st minute when Nene fired them into the lead.
It was a big blow to the Ivoriens, but the Elephants mounted a solid response and were able to fight their way back into the game despite playing with a man down.
Adingra scored the equaliser for the hosts in the 90th minute, dragging the game into extra time.
Mali continued with their dominant display but could make anything happen as Ivory Coast fell back to defend hoping to drag the game to shoot-outs.
With only a minute added after the extra time, Ivory won a freekick and took it but it was cleared by Mali’s wall the rebound was struck back into the box where Diakite flicked it with his back-heel into the net to score the winner for the hosts.