Despite beating Malawi 3-1 last night Mali failed to make it through to the last 8 of the Africa Cup of Nations. Their head to head record against Algteria meant that the Desert Foxes prevailed despite drawing 0-0 with Angola. Mali started the game with a lot of determination hoping that a win for them and a defeat for Algeria could help get them through. Sevilla striker Freddy Kanoute was on point in the 1st minute yes the 1st minute as a defensive blunder by the Malawian goalkeeper allowed Kanoute to pounce on a bad clearence and open the scoring.
After beating world cup bound Algeria 3-0 on day 2 of the tournament, you would expect Malawi to give a repeat performance in all their matches however, just 2 minutes later, Barcelona star Seydo Keita scored a brilliant free-kick to make it 2-0. I have to admit, i was becoming a little fearful for Malawi. 3 minutes into the game and they were already 2 goals down. Malawi seemed to take heart from their terrible start and created some really good chances in the next 20 minutes as they dominated play.
Malawi managed to pull a goal back in the 2nd half but it was too little too late. Mali held on for a 3-1 win but that was to be their last action of the tournament as Algeria and hosts Angola joined the Ivory Coast and Egypt in the quarters. Tonight’s game between Ghana and Burkina Faso will be a must win for the Black Stars if they want to progress to the quarter finals. Some bad news though. Micheal Essien their captain has been ruled out. In fact the “machine” has returned to London to link up with his club Chelsea. I wonder how Ghana will cope with his absence. The so called minnows have proved to be no minnows at all. They are the surprise packages of this tournament and Africa’s powerhouses especially those representing the continent in the world cup should up their game or else they stand to be humiliated big time.
Photo credit: Lebitalarican