HomeSportSoccerKeita sends Mali into last four

Keita sends Mali into last four


Barcelona star Seydou Keïta scored the decisive penalty as Mali beat co-hosts Gabon 5-4 on a penalty shootout in the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) last night after the match had ended 1-1n after 120 minutes of play.

Mali will now play Ivory Coast in the semi-finals on Wednesday while the other semi will pit Zambia and the winner between Ghana and Tunisia, who were playing their quarter-final match late last night.

It is Mali’s fifth semi-final in seven Afcon appearances and they will not meet Ivory Coast in what promises to be a fascinating clash between the West African sides.

Gabon led through Eric Mouloungui whose shot from close range was helped by a deflection off the Malian goalkeeper in the second half.

Mali levelled with six minutes to go through giant striker Tidiane Diabate who turned inside the box to put the ball between the legs of goalkeeper Ovono.

The 30 minutes of extra time did not produce any goals although Keita knocked the ball over the bar in the last minute.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed the fourth spot-kick for the hosts with a casual approach and the keeper dived the right way to save the ball before Keïta ensured a river of tears would flow throughout Gabon well into the night.

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