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U-23 AFCON: Mali defeats Niger to join Egypt in the semifinals out of Group B

Egypt and Mali are the teams to advance out of Group B at the 2023 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco after both teams achieved 2-0 victories on Saturday in their final group stage matches. Mali needed three points against Niger and completed their mission two second half goals. A draw was good enough for Egypt to advance but the Pharaohs found two late goals to see off eliminated Gabon.

There was plenty to play for in the clash between Niger and Mali with The Eagles needing a victory to overtake the Ménas of Niger. The Nigerien team did well to keep it scoreless by halftime but the quality of Mali showed after the break with Mamadou Sangaré giving his team the lead from the penalty spot before five minutes elapsed in the second half. Cheickna Doumbia put the result beyond doubt with a calm finish late on from a Cheickna Diakité cross.

Egypt were only in danger if they lost to Gabon and like the other match happening simultaneously, there were few opportunities in the first half. However a second yellow card to Gabon’s Roy Mbongui left his team on the defensive in the second half and Pyramids FC player Mahmoud Saber gave Egypt the lead with a hard shot after Mostafa Saad played a low corner kick to the edge of the penalty area. Osama Faisal confirmed the result with a penalty kick in stoppage time.

Egypt win the group and will qualify for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris with a semifinal victory over Guinea. Mali are set to clash with hosts Morocco in what could be an intriguing match between two talented teams.

Highlights from both matches on Saturday are below.

Scores

Mali 2-0 Niger

Egypt 2-0 Gabon

Highlights

Mali 2-0 Niger

Egypt 2-0 Gabon

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