Africa Cup of Nations hosts Cote D’ivoire stunned Mali to secure their place in the semi-finals of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations following a dramatic 2-1 win.
Code D’ivoire left late much as they did against AFCON holders Senegal in the last 16 regulation and extra-time during a dramatic encounter to advance to the next stage of the AFCON.
Nene Dorgeles thought his second-half goal secured the win. However, Simon Adingra levelled in the last minute before Oumar Diakite took centre stage as the match looked to be heading for penalties.
Odilon Kossounou was sent off in the first-half for two bookable offences, the first coming after conceding a penalty which Adama Traoré duly missed.
The defender was given his marching orders just before the break, although Mali failed to make their numerical advantage count until Ivorian-born midfielder Nene Dorgeles curled in what looked to be the winner just after the 70th minute mark.
As has often been the case throughout this AFCON, however, there were more twists and turns.
Brighton’s Simon Adingra struck in the last minute of normal time with an opportunistic finish after a goalmouth scramble before Oumar Niakite diverted Seko Fofana’s shot in for the winner just as penalties loomed.
Niakite was then sent off for removing his shirt in celebration having already picked up a yellow card as tempers flared, with several Mali players surrounding referee Mohamed Adel. Hamari Traore was sent off after the full-time whistle for taking his protests too far.
The hosts now head into their semi-final meeting with DR Congo next week with momentum on their side.