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10-man Mali strike twice in second half stoppage time for victory over South Sudan

Sekou Koïta and Aliou Dieng made an impact as substitutes with each delivering a goal in second half stoppage time to complete a Malian rally in Les Aigles’ 3-1 2023 AFCON qualifying victory over South Sudan in Uganda. Mohamed Camara cancelled out a first half opener from the Bright Stars and despite going down a player due to a red card, Mali were able to make it two wins from two games on their way to top spot in Group G. Meanwhile, following another promising performance, South Sudan once again are rewarded with zero points.

The artificial pitch at the St. Mary’s Stadium in Kitende, Uganda was not favorable to either team as it took some time for both sides to find their footing. The circumstances favored hosts South Sudan who came out with enthusiasm and went ahead in the 29th minute. A Valentino Yuel free kick from out wide bounced dangerously in front of the Malian goal and South Sudan center back Peter Maker’s finish went off the post, dancing across the goal line before Rashid Toha’s touch went off Mali center back Kiki Kouyaté for an own goal.

Mali regrouped during halftime and took control of the match in the second half. The pitch favored the visitors on their equalizer in the 58th minute when a bouncing ball into the South Sudan penalty area was knocked down by forward El Bilal Touré for Camara, who rolled his shot in past an advancing Ramadan Mayik in the South Sudanese goal. Mayik was forced into action in the 66th minute when he acrobatically tipped over Touré’s header to keep the score level.

An opportunity arose for South Sudan when Mali striker Ibrahima Koné was sent off for a stray elbow on an aerial duel, which set up a dramatic and action-packed finish. Tito Okello was sent in behind the defense for South Sudan in the 90th minute with only the keeper to beat but Ismael Diawara somehow stopped and held onto the ball without conceding a rebound.

It would pay off only two minutes later when South Sudan failed to clear a Malian attacking movement substitutes combined when Koïta headed in a looping cross from Moussa Djenepo. Mali manager Éric Chelle continued to look like a genius when once again his substitutes combined to put the match away after Nene Dorgeles’ hard work down the right wing created space for him to slide the ball to Dieng at the edge of the penalty area for a low finish past Mayik.

Highlights of the match are below.


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