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Mali wrap up 2018 WC Qualifiers without a win – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Mamadi Fofana of Mali challenged by Gabriel Leveh of Ghana during the 2017 Under 17 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Ghana and Mali at the Libreville Stadium in Gabon on 28 May 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Saturday Nov 11, 2017. 19:06


Mali played to a dull 0-0 draw in their final 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers match against Gabon at Stade de Franceville on Saturday.

The stalemate in front of the away crowds leaves the Malians sitting at the bottom of the standings with four points after six matches.

However with both camps desperately chasing a win, the encounter started on a low note as both sides employed a cautious approach and chances were few and far in the first 10-15 minutes.

But it was the Les Aigles who dominated the proceedings in as far as the ball possession is concerned, yet they were not clinical upfront to grab the lead.

Both camps had a number of attempts at goal, with both sharing four, there were none on target and both goalkeepers, Didier Ovono and Djigui Diarra, were not tested in the opening half.

There were no goals at the end of the opening stanza.

In the second half, coach Yacouba Sylla’s charges pushed forward in search of their opening goal, yet they were unable to break the stubborn Panthers’ defence.

Coach Jorge Costa introduced changes after 10 minutes into the second half, but they were not decisive in the final third to break the deadlock.

With the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations hosts struggling to find the back of the net, the stalemate sees them consolidating the third spot in the group.

In their campaign, Gabon have won one match, drew three and lost two matches.

Gabon 0

Mali 0

Gabon: Ovono, Ondele, Assoumou (Obambou 74′), Ecuele, Obiang, Palun, Madinda, Meye, Otoo (Biteghe 87′), Biyogho, Ameka (Boupendza 54′)

Mali: Diarra, Kone, Samassekou, Niane, Doumbia, Wague, A. Traore (Djenepo 71′), Sacko, Traore, Bissouma (Diarra 71′), Fofana



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Mali miss out on third place at U-17 World Cup – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


Lassana N’Diaye (L) of Mali is in action against Victor Chust (2-L) of Spain during the FIFA Under-17 World Cup 2017 semi final match between Mali and Spain at the D Y Patil Stadium in Mumbai, India, 25 October 2017. EPA/DIVYAKANT SOLANKI

by
Graeme Jackson

Saturday Oct 28, 2017. 15:36


Mali have finished fourth at the 2017 U-17 World Cup in India after going down 2-0 at the hands of Brazil in the third-place playoff on Saturday.

The match at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium in Kolkata was a frustrating one for the Young Eagles, who were unable to impose their physicality against their South Americans.

Yet Mali still created the majority of scoring chances, but the likes of Lassana N’Diaye, Hadji Drame and Djemoussa Traore were repeatedly denied by an excellent showing from Brazil goalkeeper Gabriel Brazao.

The South Americans upped their game in the second half and claimed the ascendancy in the 55th minute, with attacking midfielder Alan Guimaraes getting the better of Youssouf Koita.

Jonas Komla’s side tried to fight back into the contest, but their ambitions were killed off late on when substitute Yuri Alberto added the second goal to complete the score line at 2-0 in favour of Brazil.

The final later this afternoon at the same venue will see England and Spain battle for the right to be called U-17 World Cup champions.

Brazil (0) 2 (Guimaraes 55’, Yuri Alberto 88’)

Mali 0

Brazil: Brazao, Wesley, Vitao, Halter, Weverson, Pereira (Guth 52’), Brenner, Silva Santos, Guimaraes (Nestor 62’), Paulinho, Dos Santos (Yuri Alberto 74’)

Mali: Koita, Konate, Fofana, Haidara, Kane, Drame (Toure 76’), Samake (Doucoure 72’), M. Camara, Giddou (S. Camara 81’), D. Traore, N’Diaye



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Mali out to claim third place at U-17 World Cup – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup – India


Mohamed Camara (L) and Abdulaye Diaby (2-R) of Mali during the FIFA Under-17 World Cup

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Oct 26, 2017. 18:30


Mali will look to claim the bronze medals at the U-17 World Cup when they face Brazil in the third-place playoff match, set for the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Saturday, kick-off at 13h30 CAT.

The Young Eagles suffered a 3-1 loss at the hands of Spain in their semifinal in Navi Mumbai on Wednesday. While the Europeans were deserved winners, Mali could still feel aggrieved at missing out on a legitimate goal from Cheick Doucoure.

The midfielder’s long-range strike would have stood had goal line technology been deployed at the tournament, and it could have turned the game in the Africans’ favour.

Coach Jonas Komla, to his credit, did not use the incident as an excuse for his team’s defeat, acknowledging that Spain were worthy winners. He has turned his attention to helping his team at least claim the honour of third place.

“I can’t comment on the referee’s decision. This is how football is. Maybe that goal could have changed things for us, since we played better in the second half, but Spain deserved the win,” explained Komla.

“In the second half we played well and tried to use our pace in the final 15 minutes but that’s football for you.

“We are among the top four teams in the world (in this age group) so I can’t be disappointed with the tournament. I am happy with how we performed at the World Cup.

“It has been a great experience playing in India and we still have the third-place game against Brazil. We would like to win that.”

Brazil coach Carlos Amadeu was similarly gracious in defeat after watching team suffer a 3-1 loss to England in the other semifinal on Wednesday. Rhian Brewster’s hat-trick put paid to his team’s hopes of winning a third U-17 World Cup title.

“They were effective. They created opportunities and scored. England deserved to win. We played well in the first half but couldn’t score,” said Amadeu.

He added, “I am sad because we would have liked to win. But this happens. We must look into the future. We have one more match to play.

“As a leader, I can’t allow the team to be sad. They must gear up and play next game. Our dream was to play final. But this happens.”

The Mali v Brazil match will be the ‘curtain-raiser’ for the final between England and Spain at the same venue later on Saturday.



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Mali U-17 coach gracious in defeat – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup – India


Coach of Mali u17, Jonas Komla

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Oct 26, 2017. 13:30


Mali coach Jonas Komla was gracious in defeat after watching his side beaten 3-1 by Spain in the U-17 World Cup semifinals on Wednesday.

The Young Eagles were outplayed by their Spanish counterparts in Navi Mumbai, though there was a controversial moment when their midfielder Cheick Doucoure had a legitimate goal missed by the match officials.

Doucoure’s long-range shot hit the underside of the crossbar, rebounded over the goal line – as confirmed by TV replays – and bounced back into play.

The match officials allowed play to continue and the absence of goal line technology cost the Africans a goal which could have changed the course of the match: Spain were 2-0 up at the time and soon went on to score a third goal to end the game as a contest.

However, Komla downplayed the incident and instead focused on the positives, praising his team for reaching the final four of a global tournament.

“I can’t comment on the referee’s decision. This is how football is. Maybe that goal could have changed things for us, since we played better in the second half, but Spain deserved the win,” said Komla.

“In the second half we played well and tried to use our pace in the final 15 minutes but that’s football for you.

“We are among the top four teams in the world (in this age group) so I can’t be disappointed with the tournament. I am happy with how we performed at the World Cup.

“It has been a great experience playing in India and we still have the third-place game against Brazil. We would like to win that.”

Mali will face Brazil (who were beaten 3-1 by England in their semifinal) at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Saturday for the third-place playoff.



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Mali outclassed by Spain in U-17 World Cup semifinals – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


Lassana N’Diaye (L) of Mali is in action against Victor Chust (2-L) of Spain during the FIFA Under-17 World Cup 2017 semi final match between Mali and Spain at the D Y Patil Stadium in Mumbai, India, 25 October 2017. EPA/DIVYAKANT SOLANKI

by
Helder Ribiero

Wednesday Oct 25, 2017. 18:26


Mali were beaten 3-1 by Spain in their 2017 U-17 World Cup semifinal at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Wednesday.

The Young Eagles were outclassed by their Spanish counterparts, who were more clinical in attack and racked up three goals through a first-half brace from the excellent Abel Ruiz and a second-half header from Ferran Torres. Mali’s Lassana N’Diaye at least scored his sixth goal of the tournament to give his side some consolation.

Spain started strongly and nearly claimed the lead inside the first two minutes, with Sergio Gomez denied by a fine save from Youssouf Koita, before they had a strong appeal for a penalty turned down.

Yet the Europeans had to wait only until the 19th minute to open the scoring – and from a spot kick at that. Abdoulaye Diaby was guilty of a clumsy foul on Cesar Gelabert, and Abel Ruiz stroked home the penalty to make it 1-0.

Mali looked to be working their way back into the game as the first half entered its closing stage, but on 43 minutes the Africans gave the ball away in midfield and Gelabert played a superb pass to put Abel Ruiz in for his second goal of the game.

At 2-0 up, Spain entered the second half full of confidence and created a handful of chances to kill the game off, with Abel Ruiz guilty of missing a couple of glaring chances to complete his hat-trick.

There was controversy just past the hour mark when Cheick Doucoure struck a superb long-range shot which hit the underside of the crossbar, rebounded over the goal line and bounced back out into play.

Television replays confirmed that the ball crossed the line and Mali should have been on the score board, but the lack of goal line technology meant they were cruelly denied a way back into the game.

With just under 20 minutes to play, the Europeans found their third goal and ended the game as a contest. Sergio Gomez floated in a cross from the left by-line and Ferran Torres scored with a downward header for 3-0.

Mali gave themselves a glimmer of hope when Lassana N’Diaye took advantage of a slip at the back from Hugo Guillamon to score yet another goal at the World Cup and reduce the deficit to 3-1 in the 74th minute.

Yet there were no further goals for the West Africans, who were beaten 3-1 and have to settle for a spot in the third-place playoff against Brazil on Saturday. Spain will face England in an all-European final in Kolkata later the same day.

Mali (0) 1 (N’Diaye 74’)
Spain (2) 3 (Abel Ruiz 19’ pen 43’, Ferran Torres 71’)

Mali: Youssouf Koita, Boubacar Haidara, Djemoussa Traore (Mamadou Traore 69’), Fode Konate, Hadji Drame, Salam Jiddou, Abdoulaye Diaby (Mamadi Fofana 50’), Mamadou Samake, Ibrahim Kane, Lassana N’Diaye, Cheick Doucoure (Seme Camara 84’)

Spain: Alvaro Fernandez, Mateu Jaume, Juan Miranda, Hugo Guillamon, Victor Chust, Antonio Blanco, Ferran Torres (Victor Perea 79’), Mohamed Moukhliss (Diego Pampin 90’), Abel Ruiz, Sergio Gomez, Cesar Gelabert (Carlos Beitia 68’)



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U-17 World Cup: Mali 1-3 Spain – As it happened – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup – India


by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Oct 25, 2017. 18:18


Welcome to live coverage of the 2017 U-17 World Cup semifinal between Mali and Spain from the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.

Commentary:
All times CAT

90+6′ – Full time – Spain advance to the U-17 World Cup final. Mali will rightly complain that they were denied a legitimate goal, but the boys in red and blue were the better team in this match and deserve the victory.

90+5′ – Yellow card – Spain’s Jaume is booked for a cynical foul near the edge of his own box.

90+3′ – Drame drags a shot just wide, as Mali throw everyone forward in search of another goal.

90+1′ – There will be five minutes of added time.

90′ – Substitution – Moukhliss makes way for Diego Pampin in Spain’s last change.

87′ – Yellow card – Camara cautioned just a few minutes after coming off the bench.

85′ – Yellow card – Haidara cautioned for a hand in the face of Moukhliss.

84′ – Substitution – Seme Camara replaces Doucoure in Mali’s last change.

83′ – Another Mali chance as a deflected cross makes it awkward for Drame to get a shot away and Fernandez gratefully smothers the low effort.

82′ – A promising Mali attack ends with a tame ball into Fernandez’s hands. The Young Eagles must make the most of every chance to put Spain under pressure…

79′ – Substitution – Ferran makes way for Victor Perea in Spain’s second change.

77′ – Mamadou Traore with a shot… just off target, that had Fernandez worried! Mali’s belief is growing…

74′ – GOAL! Mali 1-3 Spain – Or is it done and dusted? Guillamon slips up in defence and N’Diaye continues his scoring form with a fine finish to beat Fernandez at his near post!

72′ – That is surely game, set and match in favour of Spain. They will go on to face England in Saturday’s semifinal in Kolkata.

71′ – GOAL! Mali 0-3 Spain – Gomez chips in a cross from the left and Ferran gets up to score Spain’s third goal with a downward header!

69′ – Substitution – Mamadou Traore replaces Djemoussa Traore in the second swap for the Africans. Fernandez makes a sharp save at his near post from N’Diaye.

68′ – Substitution – Carlos Beitia replaces Gelabert in Spain’s first change.

65′ – The Mali bench is remonstrating with the referee… they’ve seen the TV replays on the big screen and know it should have been a goal.

63′ – If there was goal-line technology at this tournament, Mali would have been credited with a goal just then! So unlucky for the West Africans!

62′ – Doucoure smashes a great long-range effort which hits the underside of the crossbar, bounces over the goal line and back into play, before N’Diaye heads wide from the rebound!

60′ – Abel Ruiz with another chance to complete his hat-trick but he curls his shot over the target!

59′ – It looks much more likely that Spain will find a third rather than Mali reducing the deficit…

58′ – Gomez with a cut-back to find Ferran on the edge of the box, but the midfielder’s shot drifts just wide!

57′ – Yellow card – Doucoure into the book for a late challenge on Blanco.

54′ – Panic in the Mali box after Miranda puts in a floated cross from the left, but eventually the Young Eagles get it clear.

52′ – Mali shifting their formation a little after that substitution, hoping to work a way back into this game.

50′ – Substitution – Diaby makes way for Mamadi Fofana in Mali’s first change.

48′ – Abel Ruiz runs in behind the defence and this must be a hat-trick… no, saved by Koita! That was a weak effort from the Spanish striker.

47′ – Drame with a shot/cross which runs just too strongly for Traore at the back post.

46′ – Back underway in the second half, no changes from either team at the break.

45+3′ – Half time – There’s not much between the teams in terms of balance of play, but Spain have been more incisive and ruthless in attack and therefore deserve their two-goal lead.

45+2′ – Yellow card – Jiddou goes into the book for a rough aerial challenge.

45+1′ – There will be two minutes of added time.

43′ – GOAL! Mali 0-2 Spain – Spain with a sucker-punch as Gelabert plays a great pass to put Abel Ruiz in on goal and he finishes superbly to make it 2-0!

42′ – Doucoure with a downward header from a corner kick, but the ball drifts wide of the far post!

41′ – Mali on a dangerous counter which ends with Traore heading over the crossbar from Drame’s cross!

40′ – Abel Ruiz almost directs a cheeky flick into the back of the net but he’s denied by a combination of Koita and Diaby!

38′ – Doucoure with an awkward shot on target which Fernandez bats away for a corner kick!

36′ – Kane connects well with a long-range effort, but it’s always drifting wide of the Spanish goal.

34′ – Mali finding it tough to create chances like they did in the opening quarter hour. Spain are keeping it tight at the back.

32′ – Almost 2-0 to Spain as Abel Ruiz gets a touch on Miranda’s left-flank cross, but the ball flashes just wide!

29′ – Gomez cracks a low shot just wide of Koita’s left-hand post, but he was offside anyway.

28′ – Spain controlling possession now with their passing. The Europeans can afford to sit back and let Mali try and force the issue.

25′ – Mali with a free kick just outside the box. Jiddou strikes for goal, but can’t lift his effort up and over the wall.

23′ – Mali with a free kick in a good attacking position, but Kane’s curling cross from the dead ball is well defended by Spain.

22′ – Midway through the first half, Mali will need to work hard to get back in the game from this point.

19′ – GOAL! Mali 0-1 Spain – Abel Ruiz tucks away the penalty and Spain lead the semifinal!

18′ – Penalty! Diaby trips up Gelabert and it’s a spot kick to Spain! No doubt about it this time, the referee had no choice but to penalise a clumsy foul in the box.

17′ – Jiddou with a long-range effort, but it’s over the crossbar and no worry for Fernandez.

15′ – Kane with great footwork to set up Traore with a shooting chance, but his effort after a quick turn is just over the angle over crossbar and post!

14′ – If anything it’s Mali who are looking more comfortable now, knocking the ball around with confidence.

12′ – A fine start to this match, both teams more than happy to commit men forward in attack!

9′ – N’Diaye almost takes advantage of confusion in the Spanish defence, poking the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper Alvaro only to see it run just wide of the near post!

8′ – Great footwork from Gelabert on the edge of the box, he makes space for a shot but pulls the ball wide of Koita’s left-hand post!

6′ – Drame with a shot with the outside of his foot which deflects off a defender and flashes just wide!

5′ – Spain’s Gelabert tumbles in the box under a challenge from Diaby and Mali are somewhat lucky not to concede a penalty  kick!

3′ – The subsequent corner kick brings another heart-in-mouth moment for Mali. Spain have started strongly, they look full of confidence.

2′ – Mali goalkeeper Koita with a great save to keep out a volley from Sergio Gomez! Spain very nearly claim an early lead…

1′ – Kick-off – We are underway in Navi Mumbai! Mali wear all yellow, while Spain are in red and dark blue.

16h20 – Our referee for this match is Japanese official Ryuji Sato.

16h10 – We can inform you that the winners of this match will face England in the final in Kolkata on Saturday. The English defeated Brazil 3-1 in the first semifinal earlier today, with Rhian Brewster scoring a hat-trick.

16h00 – Half an hour to kick-off, here are the starting XIs:

Mali: Youssouf Koita, Boubacar Haidara, Djemoussa Traore, Fode Konate, Hadji Drame, Salam Jiddou, Abdoulaye Diaby, Mamadou Samake, Ibrahim Kane, Lassana N’Diaye, Cheick Doucoure

Spain: Alvaro Fernandez, Mateu Jaume, Juan Miranda, Hugo Guillamon, Victor Chust, Antonio Blanco, Ferran Torres, Mohamed Moukhliss, Abel Ruiz, Sergio Gomez, Cesar Gelabert

 



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U-17 World Cup: Mali v Spain – LIVE – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup – India


by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Oct 25, 2017. 15:43


Welcome to live coverage of the 2017 U-17 World Cup semifinal between Mali and Spain from the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.

Live Commentary (press F5 to refresh):
All times CAT

16h00 – Half an hour to kick-off, here are the starting XIs:

Mali: Youssouf Koita, Boubacar Haidara, Djemoussa Traore, Fode Konate, Hadji Drame, Salam Jiddou, Abdoulaye Diaby, Mamadou Samake, Ibrahim Kane, Lassana Ndiaye, Cheick Doucoure

Spain: Alvaro Fernandez, Mateu Jaume, Juan Miranda, Hugo Guillamon, Victor Chust, Antonio Blanco, Ferran Torres, Mohamed Moukhliss, Abel Ruiz, Sergio Gomez, Cesar Gelabert

 



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Drame: No matter the conditions, Mali U17 go out to win – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup – India


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Oct 23, 2017. 10:00


Malian Under-17 international Hadji Drame is happy to have fired the Junior Eagles into the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup semi-finals.

There was much disquiet behind the scenes prior to kick-off at Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday, as 48 hours of incessant rain threatened to cast doubt on the quarter-final match between Mali and Ghana.

This sense of uncertainty did not affect the players in the Malian dressing room, however. Mali beat their Ghana counterparts 2-1 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati, India on Saturday.

“The weather is not something we worry about,” Drame told FIFA.com.

The 17-year-old striker opened the scoring for Mali in the 15th minute, before Djemoussa Traore made it 2-0 in the 61st minute. Mohammed Kudus netted for Ghana in the 70th minute.

“No matter the conditions, we go out onto the pitch with the intention of winning. We played well and used the ball intelligently,” he continued.

“Ghana played a lot of high balls, so we tried our best to get the ball back down on the deck. We kept our heads, and that made the difference in the end.”

Mali, who finished second in the 2015 U17 World Cup finals, will face Spain in the semi-final clash at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, India on Wednesday



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Mali beat Ghana to reach U17 FIFA World Cup semifinals – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


by
Helder Ribiero

Saturday Oct 21, 2017. 15:44


Mali scored through Hadji Drame and Djemmoussa Traore to secure a spot in the semi-finals of the 2017 U17 FIFA World Cup on Saturday after beating Ghana 2-1 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati in India.

The Black Starlets found the back of the net courtesy of Kudus Mohamed through a penalty.

The 12th minute saw the Malian defence failing to clear a dangerous ball in the box and the rebound fell to Eric Ayiah whose shot narrowly missed the target.

Three minutes later, the Les Aigles managed to break the deadlock through Drame. A through ball for the forward penetrated the Ghanaian defence before unleashing a powerful shot on the near post, 1-0.

The 30th minute saw coach Paa Kwesi Appiah’s troops trying to break the stubborn Malian defence, but they were not clinical upfront.

With five minutes to the half, Ghana thought they have found the back of the net when Ibrahim Sulley beat goalkeeper Youssouf Koita on his near post, but the referee called for a foul on a Malian defender.

It was 1-0 at the interval in favour of Jonas Komla’s men.

Fresh from the tunnel, Ghana upped their ante as they probed for an equaliser, but they failed to trouble the solid Malian defence.

The Les Aigles doubled their lead through Djemmoussa Traore after a silly error by the keeper. Danlad Ibrahim making it 2-0 on the hour mark.

The Black Starlets received a penalty after a foul in the box by defender, Fode Konate allowing Mohamed to convert from the spot in the 70th minute, 2-1.

It was end to end stuff in the final 15 minutes, but both sides struggled in the rainy conditions and fired blanks in the final third.

The dying stages of the encounter produced no clear cut opportunities in front of goal as Mali cruised into the semis whilst Ghana crashed out of the tournament.

Ghana: (0) 1 (Konate 70′)
Mali: (1) 2 (Drame 15′, Traore 61′)

Mali: Koita, Haidara, Traore, Konate, Camara, Drame (Camara 80′), Jiddou (Doucoure 75′), Diaby, Samake, Kane, Ndiaye

Ghana: Ibrahim, Yakubu, Ayiah, Sulley (Sadiq 55′), Mohamed, Tokou (E. Mohamed 74′), Yusuf, Leveh (Danso 62′), Mensah, Alhasan, Idriss



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FIFA U17 World Cup: Mali 2-1 Ghana – As it happened – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Saturday Oct 21, 2017. 15:24


Welcome to AfricanFootball.com’s LIVE ASW of the 2017 U17 FIFA World Cup quarter-final clash between Mali and Ghana.

The encounter will be staged at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati (India) on Saturday, October 21 2017.

The Black Starlets are out to claim a win and book a spot at the semi-finals as they target to lift the trophy for the third time.

Meanwhile, the Les Aigles are looking to rectify their errors after finishing as runners-up in 2015 in Chile.

Both coaches, Paa Kwesi Fabin and Jonas Kokou Komla will motivate their troops to ensure they are through to the next stage of the prestigious tournament.

LINEUPS:

MALI: Youssouf KOITA (GK), Boubacar HAIDARA, Djemoussa TRAORE, Fode KONATE, Mohamed CAMARA (C), Hadji DRAME, Salam JIDDOU, Abdoulaye DIABY, Mamadou SAMAKE, Ibrahim KANE, Lassana NDIAYE.

GHANA: Danlad IBRAHIM (GK), Najeeb YAKUBU, Eric AYIAH (C), Ibrahim SULLEY, Kudus MOHAMMED, Emmanuel TOKU, Abdul YUSIF, Gabriel LEVEH, Gideon MENSAH, Rashid ALHASSAN, Mohammed IDDRISS.

COMMENTARY:

Mali are through to the semi-finals of the U17 FIFA World Cup. Ghana are out of the global youth tournament.

90+4′ It is full time in India.

90+4′ Mali sub: Sidibe on for Djemoussa Traore

90+4′ The referee has added four minutes.

90′ Mali’s Mane tries a long range effort and it goes wide not troubling the keeper. We are into the stoppage time.

80′ Mali sub: Camara on for Drame

80′ We enter the final 10 minutes of the encounter as both African sides are battling for a spot in the semi-finals. Ghana 1-2 Mali

75′ Mali sub: Doucoure on for Jiddou



74′ Ghana sub: Aminu Mohamed on for Emmanuel Tokou

73′ Mohamed Camara booked

70′ PENALTY: Ghana receive a penalty after a foul in the box by Fode Konate. Kudus Mohamed converted from the spot. Ghana 1-2 Mali

62′ Ghana sub: Danso on for Leveh

63′ GOAL – Mali have doubled the lead through Djemmoussa Traore after a silly error by the keeper. Mali 2-0 Ghana

59′ The Black Starlets pushing harder but harder yet they fail to hit the target.

55′ Ghana sub: Sulley off for Ibrahim Sadiq

52′ Fouls dominate the encounter in the heart of the park, Fabin’s men still probing for an equaliser.

48′ The Black Starlets are back with more intent, they take a shot through Ayiah and Koita makes a brilliant save to concede a corner.

46′ Second half resumes at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati (India).

45′ Half time in India: Mali 1-0 Ghana

44′ Ghana thought they have found the back of the net when Sulley beat Koita on his near post, but the referee called for a foul on a Malian defence.

40′ Five minutes remaining in the quarter-final encounter as both African nations are chasing a spot in the Last Four. However, Jonas Komla’s men are leading 1-0

36′ Ghana’s Yakubu booked for a two-footed foul.

35′ battle lines are drawn in the heart of the park and fouls are commited in the muddy surface.

30′ Paa Kwesi Fabin’s charges still trying to break up the Malian defence in search of an equaliser.

27′ Ghana must fix their defence, Mali running through them on the right flank. But their final shot goes wide. Mali 1-0 Ghana

22′ Ghana commit a foul, a set piece for Mali right on the edge of the area. Salam hit is wide.

18′ Ghana tried to respond from a set piece and it hits the roof of the net for a goal kick.

A through ball for the forward penetrated the Ghanaian defence before unleashing a powerful shot on the near post. Ghana 0-1 Mali

14′ GOAL – Mali break the deadlock through Hadji Drame

10′ There are no goals in the encounter in the opening 10 minutes.

08′ Mali penetrate the Black Starlets’ defence and they take a shot through Kane but it goes wide.

05′ Both camps exchanging the ball possession, Mohamed Idriss takes a shot but it sails wide off target.

02′ It was bucketing in India at the venue, the pitch is waterlogged. But the game goes on.

01′ Match gets underway



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Mali, Ghana renew rivalry in U-17 World Cup – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


Colombia’s Brayan Gomez (L) in action against Ghana’s Emmanuel Toku (R) during the FIFA Under-17 World Cup 2017 group A soccer match between Colombia and Ghana at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, India, 06 October 2017. EPA/RAJAT GUPTA

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Oct 19, 2017. 18:00


Mali and Ghana will renew their rivalry at the U-17 level when they meet in a World Cup quarterfinal at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday, kick-off at 13h30 CAT.

Mali earned their place in the last eight by finishing runners-up to Paraguay in Group B, before thrashing Iraq 5-1 in their last 16 clash on Tuesday, while Ghana topped Group A and then ousted fellow Africans Niger 2-0 on Wednesday.

These teams are familiar foes and it is fitting that they are the continent’s last representatives, having met in the final of the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon back in May.

In that match in Libreville it was Mali who claimed a narrow 1-0 victory – thanks to a first-half goal from Mamadou Samake – to be crowned African champions at the Black Starlets’ expense.

Ghana coach Paa Kwesi Fabin was not happy with the way his side wasted chances against Niger, but is still confident of their chances against the Young Eagles.

“Definitely it is a concern and we are working on it,” Fabin told reporters in regards to his team’s finishing.

“It’s a work in progress and definitely when it’s an U-17 team, you know that definitely they will keep making such mistakes and I will keep correcting them until we get what we want.

“I’m satisfied with the two goals we scored and in fact it has taken us to the next stage.”

Fabin also believes his Ghana can go all the way in the tournament: “Definitely we are here and I believe every team that has qualified hold the mentality to win the trophy, so we are thinking alike.”

Mali coach Komla, meanwhile, has fended off allegations that his side are fielding overage players. Iraq coach Qahran Al-Rubaye claimed the Africans looked like “an U-23 team” in the last 16 match.

“In football, it is important to accept the results. In a tournament of this stature, there are clear rules and testing for every player is performed before the World Cup. We have passed all the required tests and guidelines, so you have to accept it,” explained Komla.

The winner of the Mali-Ghana match will play either Spain or Iran in the semifinals on Wednesday 25 October in Navi Mumbai.



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Iraq coach: Mali looked like an U-23 team – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup – India


Mohamed Camara (L) and Abdulaye Diaby (2-R) of Mali during the FIFA Under-17 World Cup

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Oct 19, 2017. 14:00


Iraq coach Qahtan Al-Rubaye has stopped just short of accusing Mali of age cheating at the ongoing U-17 World Cup in India.

The Asian U-17 champions were given a 5-1 thrashing by their African counterparts Mali when the teams in a last 16 clash in Margao on Tuesday.

The Young Eagles enjoyed a speed and size advantage over the Iraqis, with Hadji Drame, Lassana N’Diaye, Fode Konate and Seme Camara sharing the five goals between them.

“They sometimes look like they are an U-23 team and not in the same category as us (U-17),” said Al-Rubaye in the aftermath of the match.

“It’s quite visible in the way they play, the way they shoot and their abilities, like speed and physicality.

“It’s unfair sometimes because there is a big difference between African teams and others.”

African sides have been guilty of age cheating in junior tournaments in the past. The U-17 World Cup winners in 2015, Nigeria last year had half their squad at the age group ruled ineligible for an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) screening.

Yet Mali coach Jonas Komla shrugged off any insinuations that his side may be fielding overage players.

”In football, it is important to accept the results. In a tournament of this stature, there are clear rules and testing for every player is performed before the World Cup. We have passed all the required tests and guidelines, so you have to accept it,” said Komla.



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Mali ease into the U17 World Cup quarter-finals – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


Mali players celebrates during the 2017 Under 17 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Ghana and Mali at the Libreville Stadium in Gabon on 28 May 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Oct 17, 2017. 19:34


Mali thumped Iraq 5-1 in the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup Last 16 match at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, India on Tuesday.

As a result, Junior Eagles of Mali advance to the quarter-finals, while Iraq’s Junior Lions of Mesopotamia bow of the tournament.

The Junior Eagles started brightly and they nearly grabbed an early goal through Mohamed Camara nine minutes into the match.

Iraq goalkeeper Ali Ibadi Jabbar was alert and he produced a fine save to deny the Mali midfielder, who had unleashed a right-footed shot.

However, Mali continued to launch attacks against Junior Lions of Mesopotamia and the Africans managed to beat Jabbar in the 25th minute.

Hadji Drame scored with a right footed shot – making it 1-0 to Mali with Salam Jiddou grabbing a well deserved assist.

The momentum was with the Junior Eagles and they double their lead three minutes after the half-hour mark.

This time it was Lassana N’Diaye, who scored with a header to make it 2-0 to Mali from Djemoussa Traore’s cross.

Boubacar Haidara then set-up Drame and the latter placed his effort inches wide of the target five minutes before half-time.

Mali were deservedly leading 2-0 at the interval thanks to two goals from promising youngsters Drame and N’Diaye.

Youssouf Koita, the Mali keeper, was called into action five minutes after the restart as the Junior Lions of Mesopotamia looked to level matters.

The shot-stopper pulled off a decent save to deny Mohammed Ridha, who had tried to hit the back of the net with a right-footed shot.

Muntadher Mohammed was introduced in the 65th minute and he tried to make an immediate impact a minute later.

However, Koita produced a good save to deny the Iraq attacker, who had tried to score with a long-range shot .

With 17 minutes left on the clock, the Junior Eagles extended their lead after Drame set-up Fode Konate, who scored to make it 3-0 to Mali.

Ali Kareem managed to grab a late consolation goal in the 85th minute after beating Koita with a right-footed effort.

Mali, who were the 2015 U17 World Cup runners-up, then grabbed two late goals through Seme Camara and N’Diaye.

The match ended 5-1 in favour of Mali and they will take on either Ghana or Niger in the quarter-finals this weekend.

Mali (2) 5 (Drame 25′, N’Diaye 33′ 90 +4′, Konate 73′, S.Camara 87′).

Iraq (0) 1 (Kareem 85′)

Mali XI: Koita, Konate, Kane, Diaby, Haidara, Samake, Traore (S.Camara 82′), Giddou (Doucoure 69′), Camara (Sidibe 80′), N’Diaye, Drame.

Iraq XI: A.Jabbar, M.Jabbar, Abdulsada (Raad 46′), Abdulabbas, Albaqer, Ridha (Muntadher 65′), Shakir, Ali, Kareem, Kareem (Khalid 90′), Adn



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WC U17: Mali 5 – 1 Iraq – AS IT HAPPENED – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Oct 17, 2017. 18:30


That’s all from the DY Patil Stadium where Mali beat Iraq 5-1 in an entertaining match. Mali book their place to the quarter-finals, while Iraq are eliminated from the competition.

Lineups:

Mali XI: Koita, Konate, Kane, Diaby, Haidara, Samake, Traore, Giddou, Camara, N’Diaye, Drame.

Iraq XI: Jabbar, Jabbar, Abdulsada, Abdulabbas Ayad, Albaqer, Ridha, Shakir, Ali, Kareem, Kareem, Adnan.

Commentary:

FULL-TIME: Mali 5-1 Iraq.

94 +4′ – GOAL! Mali 5-1 Iraq. N’Diaye grabs his brace in stoppage time.

90′ – Iraq sub: Khaled IN, Kareem OUT.

88′ – GOAL! Mali 4-1 Iraq. Seme Camara fires past Jabbar with a left-footed effort.

85′ – GOAL! Mali 3-1 Iraq. Kareem scores a late goal with his right foot.

82′ – Mali sub: S. Camara IN, Traore OUT.

80′ – Mali sub: Sidibe IN, Camara OUT.

75′ – Iraq forward Kareem is caught offside as the the Asians look to pull one back.

73′ – GOAL! Mali 3-0 Iraq. Konate beats Jabbar with a right-footed shot.

70′ – 20 minutes left for Iraq to pull one back, but Mali keeper Koita and his defence have done well thus far.

69′ – Mali sub: Doucoure IN, Giddou OUT.

65′ – Iraq sub: Muntadher IN, Ridha OUT.

60′ – It’s still 2-0 to Mali as we reach the hour-mark.

55′ – Maytham Jabbar misses the target with a header as Iraq look to apply some pressure on Mali.

50′ – Mali goalkeeper Koita is called into action and he denies Iraq forward Ridha.

46′ – The second-half is underway.

46′ – Iraq sub: Raad IN, Abdulsada OUT.

45′ – Half-Time: Mali 2-0 Iraq.

40′ – Drame tries to extend Mali’s lead, but his right footed shot narrowly misses the target.

35′ – The 2017 Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) champions Mali are in complete control of this match.

33′ – GOAL! Mali 2-0 Iraq. This time it’s N’Diaye with a good header.

30′ – Mali’s pressure finally paid off and Drame beat Iraq goalkeeper Jabbar with a well-taken shot.

25′ – GOAL! Mali 1-0 Iraq. Drame scores with a right footed shot.

20′- Mali foward N’Diaye’s header from very close range narrowly misses the target.

15′ – Mali qualified for the Last 16 after finishing second in Group B, while Iraq were Group F runners-up.

10′ – Drame, the Malian forward, is looking lively – he’s keeping the Iraq defence very busy.

5′ – Mali are pushing for an ealy goal against their Asian counterparts.

1′ – The match is underway.



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Mali coach expects ‘great match’ against Iraq – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Oct 17, 2017. 14:30


Mali coach Jonas Komla says that he expects a “great match” against Iraq in the last 16 of the U-17 World Cup later today.

The Africans champions will face the Asian side at the Fatorda Stadium in Margao this afternoon, kick-off at 16h30 CAT, in a match which will be covered live by AfricanFootball.

“The fact that we [Mali] did so well in Chile [the 2015 edition of the U-17 World Cup, where Mali were runners-up to Nigeria] and also because we are the African champions, it’s a positive pressure on the team. It influences our work in a positive sense. Our ambitions are still the same,” said Komla on Monday.

“I’m expecting a great match. From now on it’s all or nothing. Both teams fully deserve to be here in the round of 16. We respect Iraq but we wish to win tomorrow,” he added.

Mali’s strong showing at the tournament thus far makes them the favourites against Iraq, who will be without key player Mohammed Dawood due to suspension, but Komla is taking nothing for granted.

“Unfortunately for Iraq, Dawood is not available for tomorrow but this doesn’t change the philosophy of my team. Iraq are a very strong team with or without Dawood,” Komla explained.

The winners will face either Ghana or Niger (who play each other on Wednesday) in the quarterfinals.



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Mali advance into second round of U-17 World Cup – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


Mali players celebrates during the 2017 Under 17 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Ghana and Mali at the Libreville Stadium in Gabon on 28 May 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Oct 12, 2017. 15:31



Mali have advanced into the second round of the U-17 World Cup after they defeated New Zealand 3-1 at Jawaharlal Stadium in New Delhi on Thursday.

The result saw the Eaglets finish in second place in Group B on six points, three adrift of leaders Paraguay, who easily defeated Turkey in the other pool match.

Mali dominated from early on and made their pressure pay in the 18th minute when Salam Giddou scored with a magnificent long-range shot into the top corner of the net, giving New Zealand goalkeeper Zac Jones no chance whatsoever.

It was almost 2-0 to the West Africans late in the half when Lassana N’Diaye struck the goalkeeper’s left-hand post with well-struck effort.

The Eaglets needed just five minutes of the second half to double their advantage, with Djemoussa Traore scoring from a fine curling shot that beat Jones’ left hand before nestling in the back of the net.

New Zealand pulled a goal back through substitute Charles Spragg in the 72nd minute, but Mali eased an fears of a comeback when striker N’Diaye scored for the third march in succession to make it 3-1 in the 82nd minute.

Mali, as second-place finishers in Group B, will face the runners-up in Group F – one of England, Iraq, Mexico or Chile – in their last 16 clash in Margao on October 17.

Mali (1) 3 (S. Giddou 18’, D. Traore 50’, L. N’Diaye 82’)

New Zealand (0) 1 (Spragg 72’)

Mali: Y. Koita, F. Konate (S. Sidibe 84’), M. Fofana, B. Haidara, I. Kane, H. Drame (M. Traore 68’), M. Samake, M. Camara (C.O. Doucoure 58’), S. Giddou, D. Traore, L. N’Diaye



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Mali look to up their game for New Zealand clash – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


Mali players celebrates during the 2017 Under 17 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Ghana and Mali at the Libreville Stadium in Gabon on 28 May 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Oct 11, 2017. 10:30


Mali will look for further improvement and a place in the last 16 of the U-17 World Cup when they take on New Zealand in their final Group B match on Thursday, set for the Jawaharlal Stadium in New Delhi, kick-off at 13h30 CAT.

The Eaglets bounced back to winning form with a comfortable 3-0 triumph over Turkey on Monday, with Djemoussa Traore, Lassana N’Diaye and Fode Konate scoring the goals.

The result leaves Mali placed second in Group B with three points. Paraguay lead the way with six points, while New Zealand and Turkey are in third and fourth respectively with a point apiece.

A win will guarantee the West Africans a place in the last 16, while a draw may also be enough, depending on the other group result between Paraguay and Turkey.

Mali were much improved from their opening 3-2 defeat to Paraguay, though coach Jonas Komla believes they are still some way short of their best.

“We had worked on both offence and defence as well as our mental aspect as it was important for our players to take on any opposition with confidence,” said Komla.

“Our plans did succeed to some extent but we are not the finished product as yet. We have some more work to do.”

The Eaglets will miss Abdoyulaye Diaby for the game against New Zealand after his second booking on Monday, but Komla said the team does not depend on any individual player.

“Ours is a team effort and the collective strength of the team is going to be intact. There are others to step into the breach,” he said.



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Mali back on track in India – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Oct 09, 2017. 15:43


African champions Mali bounced back to winning form in the U-17 World Cup with an emphatic 3-0 win over Group B rivals Turkey at the Dr DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Monday.

Following a disappointing 3-2 loss to Paraguay on Friday, this victory for the Eaglets brings them right back into contention for the last 16, and they will be expected to advance into the next round with a victory against New Zealand in their final pool match on Thursday.

The West Africans had to be patient in this match, waiting until the 38th minute of the first half to move ahead after Hadji Drame provided the assist for Traore Djemoussa to beat Turkey goalkeeper Ozer Berke.

The second goal arrived midway through the second half, with Lassana N’Diaye netting to effectively kill off the game and seal the three points for Mali.

The Eaglets wrapped up their scoring in style when substitute Cheick Doucoure provided the assist for Fode Konate to score in the 86th minute and make it an emphatic 3-0.

The other Group B match between Paraguay and New Zealand will be played in Navi Mumbai later today.

Turkey 0

Mali (1) 3 (Djemoussa 38’, N’Diaye 68’, F. Konate 86’)

Turkey: Berke, Sahan, Ozan, Ahmed, Kerem, Malik, Atalay (Recep 46’), Ismail (Emirhan 74’), Umut, Yunus, Berk

Mali: Koita, B. Haidara, Djemoussa, F. Konate, M. Camara, H. Drame (M. Traore 76’), Salam (Doucoure 83’), A. Diaby, M. Samake, Kane, N’Diaye (M. Toure 81’)



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Mali look to bounce back in U-17 World Cup – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


by
Graeme Jackson

Saturday Oct 07, 2017. 14:07


Mali will be looking to bounce back to winning form when they face Turkey in their second U-17 World Cup match, set for DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Monday, kick-off at 13h30 CAT.

The Eaglets slumped to a surprise 3-2 defeat at the hands of Paraguay in their Group B opener on Friday.

The South Americans went 2-0 up through Antonio Galeono and Leonardo Sanchez Cohener, before Mali fought back to make it 2-2 thanks to strikes from Hadji Drame and Lassana Ndiaye – all within the opening 34 minutes.

However, 10 minutes into the second half Paraguay reclaimed the lead through Alan Franciso Rodriguez and held off whatever the West Africans could throw at them to ensure they picked up all three points.

For Mali, who came into the game as one of the tournament favourites, the defeat will have been a stinging blow but coach Jonas Komla beleives his team reacts well to being put under pressure, just as they were at the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year.

“It was not a perfect start from us. There is plenty of room for improvement but happy with the strong mentality of my players. In my opinion, over-enthusiasm from the players cost us today and we will look to work on that aspect in the next two games,” said Komla.

He added, “We started on a similar path in the AFCON but went on to win the competition. There was pressure on us back then and it is the same pressure today. We will take it positively and try to win our remaining games.”

As for Turkey, they opened their tournament with a 1-1 draw against New Zealand. The Europeans held a first-half lead through Ahmed Kutucu, but conceded a goal to Max Mata to see the game finish all square.

This will be the first meeting of Mali and Turkey in U-17 World Cup history.



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Mali frustrated by Ivory Coast in Bamako – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Oct 06, 2017. 23:21


Mali and Ivory Coast drew 0-0 in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification (CAF) Group C match at the Stade du 26 Mars in Bamako on Friday.

The draw ends Mali’s hopes of qualifying as they remain fourth on the group standings, while Ivory Coast remain at the top of the table with one game left.

The home side enjoyed more ball possession in the opening stages with Adama Niane and Yves Bissouma working tirelessly for Mali.

However, the Eagles found it difficult to unlock the Ivory Coast defence which was marshalled by England-based defender Eric Bailly.

Mali were awarded a free-kick in a promising area in the 27th minute and Bissouma unleashed a shot which missed the target frrom the set-piece.

Moussa Djenepo, who had replaced injured Adama Traore in the 40th minute, saw his header saved by Ivory Coast goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo just before the half-time break.

The score was 0-0 between the Eagles and the Elephants in Bamako, the capital city of Mali. The hosts had dominated the first-half, but they could not turn their possession into a goal.

Ivory Coast coach Marc Wilmots made a substitution just before the second-half – introducing Sekou Sanogo for Geoffroy Serey Die.

Bissouma continued to boss the midfield and he tried to play a through pass for Moussa Doumbia in the 66th minute, but the latter was caught offside.

Time was running out for Mali, who were placed fourth on the Group C standings, and Amadou Haidara was introduced as the hosts searched for a late winning goal.

Mali and Ivory Coast launched late attacks, but they could not score, and the encounter ended in a goalless stalemate.

Mali (0) 0

Ivory Coast (0) 0

Mali: Diarra, Wagué, Traoré, Koné, Fofana, Doumbia, Samassekou , Diarra, Bissouma (Haidara 80′), Niane (Coulibaly 63′), Traore (Djenepo 40′).

Ivory Coast: Gbohouo, Aurier, Kanon, Bailly, Konan, Dié (Sanogo 46′), Gbamin, Kessié, Kodjia, Cornet, Assalé (Kalou 67′).



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WCQ: Mali 0-0 Ivory Coast – As it happened – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


L’international ivoirien Franck Kessié

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Oct 06, 2017. 22:55


Hello and welcome to the live commentary of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification (CAF) Group C match between Mali and Ivory Coast at the Stade du 26 Mars in Bamako.

LINEUPS:

Mali XI: Diarra, Wagué, Traoré, Koné, Fofana, Doumbia, Samassekou , Diarra, Bissouma, Niane, Traore.

Ivory Coast XI: Gbohouo, Aurier, Kanon, Bailly, Konan, Dié, Gbamin, Kessié, Kodjia, Cornet, Assalé.

COMMENTARY:

That’s all from the Stade du 26 Mars where Mali drew 0-0 with Ivory Coast. As a result, Mali are eliminated from the qualifiers, while Ivory Coast remain at the top of Group C standings. Please join us again tomorrow, bye!

FULL-TIME: Mali 0-0 Ivory Coast.

90′ – The fourth official has added three minutes.

85′ – Mali attacker Coulibaly forces Gbohouo into a decent save with a header.

85′ – Five minutes left for the Eagles to snatch a late winning goal.

80′ – Mali sub: Haidara IN, Bissouma OUT.

80′ – CAUTION: Aurier (Ivory Coast)

75′ – The match is stopped as Mali’s Diarra is down injured.

70′ – Twenty minutes left for Mali to snatch a late winning goal and keep their slim hopes of qualifying for the World Cup alive.



67′ – CAUTION: Gbohouo (Ivory Coast)



67′ – Ivory Coast sub: Kalou IN, Assale OUT.

65′ – Mali midfielder Bissouma plays a through ball for Doumbia, who is ruled offside.

63′ – Mali sub: Coulibaly IN, Niane OUT.

60′ – The match is stopped as Mali’s Traore is down injured. It remains goalless as we reach the hour-mark.



55′ – CAUTION: Konan (Ivory Coast)

50′ – Mali defender Kone tries his luck from range and his right footed shot from outside the box misses to the target.



46′ – Ivory Coast sub: Sanogo IN, Die OUT.

46′ – The second-half is underway.

HALF-TIME: Mali 0-0 Ivory Coast.

45′ – The fourth official has added one minute.

40′ – Mali sub: Djenepo IN, Traoré OUT.

40′ – CHANCE! Ivory Coast striker Kodjia has a chance to put the Elephants into the lead, but his effort is blocked.

35′ – CAUTION: Samassekou (Mali)

30′ – It remains goalless here at the Stade du 26 Mars as we reach the half-hour mark.

26′ – CAUTION: Bailly (Ivory Coast)

25′ – Traoré tries a through ball for his Mali team-mate Diarra, but the latter is ruled offside.

20′ – Mali midfielder Bissouma goes down injured and play is stopped.

15′ – The Elephants of Ivory Coast are starting to apply some pressure on the Mali defence with Die stamping his authority in midfield.

10′ – Kodjia is playing as a target-man for Ivory Coast, but there’s no supply for him thus far as Mali continue to dominate possession without testing goalkeeper Gbohouo.

5′ – The Eagles of Mali have been the better side thus far – pressing Ivory Coast in search of an early goal.

1′ – The match is underway.



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Mali lose to Paraguay in a five-goal thriller – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Oct 06, 2017. 19:38


Paraguay overcame Mali 3-2 in the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup Group B match at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Friday.

The victory takes Paraguay’s Junior White and Red to the top of the Group B standings, while the Junior Eagles of Mali are placed fourth on the table.

The Junior White and Red dominated the opening stages of the match and they managed to break the deadlock.

Antonio Galeano beat Mali goalkeeper Youssouf Koita 12 minutes into the game to make it 1-0 to Paraguay.

It was soon 2-0 to Paraguay as Leonardo Sanchez hit the back of the net five minutes later with the Mali defence exposed.

However, the Junior Eagles pulled one back through their dangerman Hadji Drame, who made it 2-1 for Mali in the 20th minute.

The 2017 Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) champions then pushed for the equalizing goal with the half-time break fast approaching.

Lassana Ndiaye levelled matters in the 34th minute – beating Paraguay keeper Diego Huesca to make it 2-2 for the Junior Eagles.

The score was 2-2 at the interval following an entertaining first-half which produced four goals.

Paraguay, who finished third at the 2017 South American Under-17 Championship, were able to restore their lead after restart.

The Junior White and Red were awarded a penalty which was converted by Alan Rodriguez to make it 3-2 to Paraguay in the 55th minute.

Jonas Kokou Komla, the Mali coach, then introduced Boubacar Haidara for Drame in the 68th minute as the Junior Eagles searched for the equalizing goal.

However, this time the Junior White and Red were able to defend very well as they contained the Junior Eagles in the closing stages.

Paraguay managed to hold on to their slender lead in the dying minutes of the match and they emerged 3-2 winners.

Paraguay (2) 3 (Galeano 12′, Sanchez 17′, Rodriguez 55′)

Mali (2) 2 (Drame 20′, Ndiaye 34′)

Paraguay: Huesca, Jesus Rolon, Fernandez, Duarte, Ojeda, Galeano (Armo 63′), Romero (Villasanti 59′), Baez (Gomez 85′), Sanchez, Marcelo Rolon, Rodriguez.

Mali: Koita, Traore, Konate, Fofana, Camara, Drame (Haidara 68′), Giddou (Doucoure 85′), Diaby, Samake, Kane, Ndiaye (Camara 72′).



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Mali shrug off favourites tag – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Oct 05, 2017. 14:00


Mali coach Jonas Komla has shrugged off the ‘favourites tag’ ahead of the start of the 2017 U-17 World Cup in India tomorrow.

Mali, who are the African champions, come into the tournament as one of the most feared teams.

They were runners-up at the last U-17 World Cup in Chile two years ago and their conveyor belt of young talent keeps churning out exceptional players.

The young Eagles will open their campaign with a Group B clash against Paraguay in Navi Mumbai on Friday.

“We are not telling ourselves we are the favourites,” Komla is quoted by the New Indian Express.

“All the 24 teams are here on merit. At the U-17 level, there is very little in terms of skill that separates them. We are just trying to reach our maximum potential.”

Mali’s impressive success at junior level is in stark contrast to the senior side, which has yet to even qualify for a first World Cup.

“There is no problem for the kids playing from U-17 to U-20,” explained Komla.

“For us, it is easy to gather them in Bamako and monitor them physically and psychologically.

“But after that, they go their separate ways, some to leagues in Europe. So it’s difficult to get them together and train them consistently.

“We need more continuity to make sure we start doing well in the seniors as well.”



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Mali look to stun Ivory Coast in Bamako – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Franck Kessie of Ivory Coast challenged by Chancel Mbemba of DR Congo during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Ivory Coast and DR Congo at the Oyem Stadium in Gabon on 20 January 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Oct 05, 2017. 11:00


Mali will welcome Ivory Coast in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification Group C match on Friday.

Kick-off is at 21h00 CAT.

The encounter is set to take place at the Stade du 26 Mars in the capital city of Mali, Bamako.

The Eagles drew 0-0 with Morocco in their previous Group C match which was played in Bamako last month.

The draw left Mali placed fourth on the group standings with two points from four matches. They are five points behind the leaders Ivory Coast with two games left.

Mohamed Magassouba, the Mali coach, is expected to mastermind a victory for the Eagles at home.

Meanwhile, Ivory Coast were narrowly defeated 2-1 by Gabon in their last Group C encounter at home last month.

But the Elephants remain at the top of the group table with seven points. They are a point above second-placed Morocco.

Ivory Coast coach Marc Wilmots will be looking to guide his side to victory over Mali and edge closer to qualifying for the finals.



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Black Starlets to face Mali, UAE ahead of U-17 World Cup – Ghana Premier League 2017


by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Sep 20, 2017. 14:00


Ahead of their participation in the U-17 World Cup next month, Ghana have lined up friendlies against Mali and the United Arab Emirates.

Ghana are currently camping in the UAE as they prepare for the tournament in India.

The Black Starlets are set to face their fellow West Africans at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Sports Stadium in Abu Dhabi today [Wednesday], with a match against the UAE set for Dubai on Sunday 24 September.

The U-17 World Cup kicks off on October 6 and runs until the 28th of the month.

Ghana will play in the opening game against Group A opponents Colombia before facing the United States and hosts India on October 9 and 12 respectively.



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Guinea, Mali exit WAFU after 1-1 draw – WAFU Cup of Nations 2017


Oumar Kida of Mali challenging Sylla Ismael of Guinea during the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations match between Guinea v Mali in Elmina, Ghana on 18 September 2017 ©Christian Thompson/ BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Sep 18, 2017. 21:57


Guinea and Mali both exited the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations after playing to a 1-1 draw in their final group stage match at Nduom Sports Stadium in Elmina on Monday evening.

With Nigeria having beaten Ghana in a concurrent Group A match at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium to join the hosts in the semifinals, the result between the Syli Nationale and the Eagles was nothing more than academic.

Guinea started the stronger of the two teams and claimed the lead in the seventh minute through Abdoulaye Naby Camara , who netted from close range after some poor defending by the Eagles.

Mali responded strongly to going behind and mounted some promising attacks, yet it was the Syli Nationale who should have added to the score line in the 22nd minute when Abdoulaye met a cross from Diallo Bailo, only to send his header wide.

Two minutes later Guinea’s Camara Kassory sent a fierce shot on target, only to be denied by a sharp save from Diarra Djigui, while on 34 minutes Abdoulaye again failed to hit the target from a good opportunity.

Mali created the final chance of the half a couple of minutes before the end of regulation time, but Mandala Konte saw his effort kept out by Guinea goalkeeper Abdoulaye Sylla.

The Eagles picked up in the second half where they left off in the first, though both Oumar Kida and Issaka Samake were unable to capitalise on chances in the opening minutes.

Guinea weathered a storm from their opponents before almost adding to their advantage just past the hour mark, as Mohammed N’Diaye put his shot just wide of the target.

Mali finally found their equaliser in the 78th minute, forcing Guinea defender Abdoulaye Naby Camara to put into his own net and bring the score to 1-1.

The draw saw the Eagles finish third with two points and a goal difference of minus one, while Guinea were last with the same tally but an inferior goal difference of minus two.

Guinea (1) 1 (Abdoulaye Naby Camara 7’)
Mali (0) 1 (Abdoulaye Naby Camara 78’ og)

Guinea coach: Hamidou Camara

Guinea: 1. A Sylla, 2. C Alseny, 5. C Aminata, 4. C Naby, 6. C Moussa, 3. I Sylla, 8. C Abdoulaye, 10. C Seydouba (7. C Sory 26’ [11. K Keita 90+1’]), 12. M Ndiaye (13. J Mouste 84’’), 9. C Kassory, 18. D Bailo

Mali coach: Nouhoum Diane

Mali: 16. D Djigui, 3. B Koffi, 4. S Boubacar, 6. M Konte, 13. I Samake, 14. L Samake, 11. M Kone (7. A Malle 58’), 8. C Moussa, 17. M Traore, 9. O Kida (12. M Balo 69’), 18. A Dieng (2. EH Salime Bah 38’)



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Kone brace steals victory for Mali at death


Mousa Kone of Mali tackled by Houeibib El Hassen of Mauritania during 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations match between Mali and Mauritania at Cape Coast Sports Stadium in Cape Coast, Ghana on 11 September 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Brian Lee

Monday Sep 11, 2017. 18:59


A brace from Moussa Kone in the dying stages of the match handed Mali a 3-1 win over Mauritania in a Last 16 match at the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Monday, September 11.

Mali started the better of the two teams and almost took the lead as early as the seventh minute, but Amara Malle saw his stinging volley from the edge of the box brilliantly saved by the Mauritania keeper.

The Eagles continued to push forward and were rewarded for their efforts on the half hour with the game’s first goal.

Mandala Konte opened the scoring after latching onto a 20-yard shot from Mohamed Traore which bounced off the crossbar and into his path – and he made no mistake as he tapped the ball over the line from close range, 1-0.

Mauritania , though, were not going to go down without a fight and hit-back six minutes later when a corner was headed into the path of Samba Cheikh who volleyed home with clinical precision from six-yards out, 1-1.

Mali finished the half the stronger side and almost re-took the lead in the dying seconds of the stanza when a 22-yard thunderbolt from Oumar Kida skimmed the wrong side of the upright.

Five minutes into the second half Moussa Kone should have scored the Eagles second goal when Mandala Konte slipped him through on goal, but he fired wide from six-yards out with just the keeper to beat.

They game fell into a bit of a lull after that with neither side really able to muster any decent goal scoring chances and the match looked to be heading for the dreaded penalty shoot-out.

That was until Moussa Kone stepped up for Mali and handed them victory with two goals in three minutes in the dying stages of the match.

First, in the 88th minute Kone pounced on a loose ball inside the Mauritania box following a goalmouth scramble and fired home from close range, 2-1.

The cherry on top was his second goal and his country’s third in the 91st minute when he broke behind the defence and made no mistake with just the keeper to beat, 3-1.

Mali (1) 3 (Konte 30’, Kone 88’+91′)
Mauritania (1) 1 (Cheikh 36’)

Teams

Mali coach: Nouhoum Diane

Mali: 16. Diarra, 13. I Samake, 15. I Traore, 4. Samassekou, 14. L Samake, 6. Konte, 17. M Traore (2. Bah 59’), 8. Coulibaly, 7. Malle (18. Dieng 72’), 9. Kida (10. Niangaddou 57’), 11. Kone.

Mauritania coach: Martins Corentin

Mauritania: 1. Souleimane, 2. Mostapha, 3. Hassen (13. Youba 46’), 5. Bilal Sidi Mohamed, 12. Moussa, 8. Djiby (4. Wade Mohamed 62’), 9. Karamokho (7. Moctat 82’), 10. Samba, 14. Bodda, 19. Cheikh, 23. Abdoulaye.



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Alian Giresse steps down as Mali coach – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Sep 08, 2017. 13:30


Information coming through from Egypt is that Mali national team coach Alain Giresse has stepped down as the Eagles coach.

It is reported that Giresse has resigned from his post just after their 0-0 draw against Morocco in their 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia qualifier on Tuesday.

In the wake of the stalemate, Mali are at the depth of Group C with two points from four games, five shy of leaders Cote d’Ivoire.

BOOTH CONFIDENT THAT COETZEE WILL LIVE HIS EUROPEAN DREAM

According to a report from the Confederation of African Football website, Giresse says he decided to stop because his role was complicated.

“It has become complicated for me. There are times when you must know how to stop,” Giresse told CAFOnline.com.

The French manager’s position had become untenable after a 6-0 drubbing by the Atlas Lions in the reverse fixture in Rabat.

Giresse was in charge of the side between 2010 and 2012, leading Les Aigles to third place at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

However, he was re-appointed in March 2015, but failed to steer the West Africans to glory as they failed to go past the group stage at the 2017 AFCON in Gabon.



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Mali earn some semblance of pride after horrible showing by Morocco – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


by
Staff Reporter

Tuesday Sep 05, 2017. 23:15


Mali earned some semblance of pride after holding the high-firing Moroccans to a goalless draw in their 2018 FIFA World Cup, Group C qualifier at the Stade 26 Mars in Bamako on Tuesday night.

The Malians came into this fixture in front of their home fans following an embarrassing 6-0 loss at the hands of Morocco in a Group C match last Friday.

In Bamako on Tuesday, though, the Eagles were determined not to concede a goal and that is just exactly what they did.

Mali set-up in an extremely defensive pattern from the onset with the majority of their players constantly behind the ball.

Luckily for the home side Morocco were not at their best in the final third and often wasted possession with woeful passing or horribly miss-guided long range shots.

Consequently, the pattern of the game emerged as Mali parked the bus in defence and Morocco failed to break it down.

Decent goal scoring chances were few and far between.

However, despite a horrendous showing on the night Morocco could have won the game in the 72nd minute, but Hakim Ziyech failed to score from the penalty spot.

Ziyech’s missed effort on goal summed up the night perfectly with both countries wasting our time in a 0-0 draw.

Morocco have the most to lose from the draw as they moved up to six points in Group C, a point behind table-toppers Cote d’Ivoire who lost 2-1 to Gabon also on Tuesday night – a win for the North Africans could have seen them in driving seat for Russia 2018.

Gabon are now third in Group C with five points, followed by last placed Mali on 2 points.



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Mali eyeing redemption against Morocco in Bamako – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Molla Wague of Mali challenged by Luwaga Kizoto of Uganda during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Uganda and Mali at the Oyem Stadium in Gabon on 25 January 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Sep 04, 2017. 14:30


Mali will bank on their home ground advantage when they host Morocco for their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.

The Eagles are under pressure to return to winning ways following an embarrassing 6-0 defeat at the hands of their visitors last week in Rabat.

The heavy defeat has left the West Africans sitting at number four in Group C standings with one point from two losses and one draw.

Coach Alain Giresse will now have to uplift the morale of his team and push them to fight for the full three points in front of their home crowd in Bamako.

Shifting focus to the Lions of the Atlas, coach Herve Renard has challenged his men to forget the 6-0 win and focus on completing the job away.

Although his side is high in confidence, they will have to guard against complacency to ensure they challenge Cote d’Ivoire at the top of the table.

The North Africans occupy the second spot with five points from one win and two draws so far in their campaign. A win will see them with eight points at the top the table, provided the Elephants lose to Gabon on the same day.

“We did well against Mali, we intimidated them into mistakes and voila!,” said Renard.

“There are still three qualifier games ahead of us, but Tuesday’s match is the most important one for me.

“We should forget about this one now and look forward a great result in Bamako.”

The match will be staged at the Stade 26 Mars in Bamako on Tuesday, getting underway 21:00 (CAT).



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