Mali went top of Group A and booked a ticket to Cameroon after a 2-1 win over hosts Namibia. Sekou Koita and Moussa Doumbia scored the goals for Mali while Namibia’s consolation was scored by Elmo Kambindu.
The victory takes the Malians top of the table with 10 points, two ahead of Guinea who drop to second. Namibia remain third with just three points off one victory.
The visitors were the dominant side in the opening half and deservedly went to the break 2-1 up. Koita had given them the lead after 12 minutes with a brilliant left foot shot from the edge of the area after being teed up by Alliou Dieng.
The Malian Eagles were enjoying themselves, passing the ball around the park with utmost ease, but often failed to make the possession count for goals.
But, they were 2-0 up 37 in when Doumbia doubled the lead with a well taken goal, beating the keeper at his near post after some swift step-overs took him beyond Larry Horaeb on the left to break into the box.
But the two goal cushion lasted just two minutes with the Namibians halving the deficit through Kambindu who rose highest at the backpost to head in beyond the keeper from a freekick.
In the second half, Mali were still in control and should have sealed the victory in the 58th minute, but EL Bilal Toure saw his penalty saved by the keeper.
Namibia piled the pressure in the final half hour of the game, but couldn’t get anything to lift them off the ground.
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