Ivory Coast are through to the quarter-finals of the ongoing AFCON finals in Egypt thanks to their far from convincing 1-0 win over Mali in a last 16 tie played Monday 8 July at the New Suez Stadium.
The two time African champions were a shadow of themselves but came up big when it mattered with winger Wilfred Zaha getting the decisive goal with the Elephants’ first shot on target 15 minutes from time.
The Crystal Palace star now has two goals in the tournament after he also netted in the 4-1 group stage win over Namibia.
Mali had dominated the proceedings and produced 18 attempts at goal to Ivory Coast’s 7 but were undone by a more experienced side that has a large portion of its players who were part of the 2015 title success.
Ivory Coast, who have not lost at an AFCON tournament to Mali in the five times that they have met, will now face off against Algeria in the quarters.
Algeria defeated Guinea 3-0 on Sunday.
One more match remains to conclude the round with four time African champions Ghana set to take on 2004 winners Tunisia in the day’s late kick off at the Ismailia Stadium from 10PM CAT.