By Boris Esono Nwenfor
The Eagles of Mali have booked a spot at the semi-finals of the ongoing Africa Nations Championship. A 5-4 penalty shootout saw the boys of coach picking up that much-deserved ticket into the semis.
The game was evenly balanced between both sides as Mali was looking to reach the semi-finals once more while Congo Brazzaville was looking at crossing the quarter-finals for the very first time.
Samake, Kyabou, Samabali, Doumba and Coulibaly all scored for Mali as Congo will be ruing that Mapata has his penalty kick wide. Even if it had gone on target there was a possibility that it would have been saved as the goalkeeper for Mali went the right way to the penalty kick.
Mali is aiming to replicate their best performance in the competition. In 2016, the Eagles finished runners-up as DR Congo won the competition that year.
It should be recalled that Mali topped Group A that consisted of Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Zimbabwe. The team finished with 7 points, as Cameroon ended on the second position with 5 points.
Before reaching the quarter-finals, Mali won Burkina Faso 1-0 in their first group game. They then followed that up with a 1-1 draw against Cameroon on matchday two before beating Zimbabwe 1-0 on Matchday three.
Mali will play the semi-final against the winners of the game Guinea v Rwanda. That game will be played at the Limbe Omnisport Stadium on February 3. Guinea will face Rwanda on January 31 at the Limbe Omnisport Stadium.