By Fredrick Nadulli aka Razor,
Mali 1-1 Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast looked dead and buried until substitute Max Gradel brought them back to life and in with a quarter final chance in an ill-tempered match against Mali in Malabo.
It was the Eagles who went ahead,Bakari Sako’s half volley off a Sambou Yatabare cross too hot for Sylvain Gbouhou on seven minutes.
Serge Doumbia went a yard wide on twenty four minutes as the Elephants stepped up a gear. Wilfried Bony had a penalty plea waved away after a cheeky nutmeg saw the Manchester City new man clear at goal.
Eric Bailly’s headed backpass on forty minutes left the Ivorians confused and fuming after the referee adjudged it illegal. Cheick Tiote picked up a routine yellow card as tempers boiled over.
Mali’s momentum was dealt a major setback when goalkeeper Soumaila Diakite limped off injured, to be replaced by Germain Berthe on seventy one minutes.
Substitute Max Gradel drew the Elephants level with four minutes left on the clock, finishing with aplomb off a neat Serge Aurier cutback.
Cameroon face Guinea later tonight.