Host nation Ivory Coast produced yet another amazing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2023) escape, beating Mali 2-1 to seal semi-final spot.

The class act saw Oumar Niakite’s net 122nd-minute winner that sent the nine-man Elephants into the next stage of the tournament, leaving Mali heartbroken.

The game started with Mali winning a penalty in the 16th minute, but sadly, Adama Traore failed to convert from the spot.

With Ivory Coast’s Odilon KossounouIvory receiving a red card just before half-time, after a second yellow, the stage was set for even more intense encounter for the hosts.

AFCON 2023: nine-man Ivory Coast stage dramatic comeback against Mali to seal semi-final spot
Ivory Coast beat Mali to qualify for AFCON semi-finals – Getty image

Mali entered the second half with renewed energy and successfully found an opener in the 71st minute, courtesy of Nene Dorgeles effort.

While it seemed certain that Mali had won the encounter, Simon Adingra raised the roof at Stade de la Paix with a 90th minute stunner to level the score, forcing the game to extra-time.

Despite Ivory Coast playing with 10 men, they completed the comeback in the second half of the extra-tme through Oumar Diakité.

The remaining minutes of the tie saw ivory Coast get reduced to nine men, and Mali, bagging a red as well.

Mali will live to remember the night they gave up their lead and even missing a penalty, to lose to their opponents who played with nine men.



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