Prime News Ghana

AFCON 2023: Mali and Tunisia in stalemate to blow Group E wide open

By Vincent Ashitey
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Mali and Tunisia played out a compelling 1-1 draw in Saturday's TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Group E clash between the top two sides. in Korhogo.

The Eagles of Mali struck first when Lassine Sinayoko drilled home a 10th-minute opener after Tunisia failed to clear.

But the tenacious Carthage Eagles responded quickly as Hamza Rafia equalised just nine minutes later following Ali Elabdi's surging run.

A captivating first half saw both teams threaten again before a tactical second period lacked further goals.
Mali remain Group E leaders on four points but other results mean qualification is still up for grabs going into the final round.

"It was a very tight game between two strong teams," said Mali coach Eric Sekou Chelle.

Meanwhile, Tunisia boss Jalel Kadri rued missed chances but remains hopeful of progressing.

"We deserved more but could not find the winning goal," Kadri told reporters. "It's still open and our fate remains in our hands."

Namibia's shock win over Tunisia coupled with South Africa's draw with Guinea means the group remains extremely tight.

Mali require just a point against Gambia on Thursday to advance but Tunisia must now beat South Africa to stand a chance of joining them.

After an intense battler between the top two, the race for knock-out qualification in Group E will go down to the wire.