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AFCON U-17: Mali dominate Congo as Les Aiglonets soar to semifinals, FIFA U-17 World Cup

The Eaglets of Mali had few issues with the Republic of Congo in Thursday’s dominant 3-0 quarterfinal victory at the 2023 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations in Algeria. Mamadou Doumbia and Mahamoud Barry each had a goal and an assist for Mali who advance to the semifinals of the competition and also secure passage to the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup later this year. Mali will face Morocco in the semifinals on Sunday in Annaba.

Mali showed their quality as winners of Group C and the Congolese team could not handle an early onslaught of attacks from Les Aiglonnets. In the 7th minute, Mali made their breakthrough after a quick buildup led to Doumbia receiving the ball twenty yards from goal where the forward held the ball up and passed to Ange Martial Tia for a finish past Congo goalkeeper Chelcy Bonazebi.

Soon after the half hour mark the Malian team doubled their lead as Doumbia made it three goals in three matches at the competition. Barry had a couple of options after receiving the ball and driving towards the Congolese penalty area where he picked out Doumbia with a pass across the box for a routine finish past Bonazebi.

Victory was confirmed for Mali in the 56th minute after a handball committed by Congo resulted in a penalty kick, which Barry dispatched to leave Bonazebi picking the ball out of his net for a third time. A bad day for Congo was summed up when they had their own penalty kick opportunity in the final minutes but Mali goalkeeper Bourama Koné produced a spectacular save to preserve his perfect record of zero goals conceded in Algeria.

Highlights from Thursday’s first quarterfinal are below.

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