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Late Soumah strike lifts Guinea’s Nationale Syli to 1-0 win over Mali and qualification for AFCON

Guinea and FK Partizan playmaker Seydouba Soumah entered as a halftime substitute and delivered the critical goal to clinch AFCON qualification for Guinea in their 1-0 win over West African rivals Mali. The Syli Nationale remain in second place in Group A but extend their lead over Namibia to an unreachable five points thanks to the result. Mali, with qualification already secured entering the game, only have their status as group leader to worry about following the loss.

A relaxed Mali side had the better of the first half as Guinea looked tense to start the game. However, Les Aigles were restricted to long range shots and neither goalkeeper was sufficiently threatened. In fact, the first half was quite labored in general, the hosts in particular lacking innovation.

With only one shot to show in the first half, Guinea manager Didier Six brought on the diminutive Soumah to bring creativity and his trademark unpredictable nature. Guinea still struggled to generate opportunities but continued to stay solid defensively, always keeping the possibility open for one play to make the difference. That moment came in the 75th minute. A long ball was well chested down by Guinea’s tall forward Sory Kaba and Soumah did the rest, shedding two Malian defenders as he cut inside to rip an effort past Djigui Diarra.

It was the only shot on goal all match for Guinea but there were no complaints when the final whistle sounded as Conakry was sent into celebratory mode. Highlights of the match are below.


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