Saturday, February 3
•Ivory Coast 1-2 (AET) Mali
•Cape Verde (1)0-0(2) South Africa
In a gripping AFCON quarter-final clash at the Stade de la Paix in Bouake, Ivory Coast demonstrated unwavering determination as they overcame adversity to secure a thrilling 2-1 victory over Mali after extra time.
The early dismissal of Odilon Kossounou, reducing the Elephants to 10 men, seemed ominous, but goalkeeper Yahia Fofana’s heroic save from Adama Traore’s penalty ensured parity at halftime.
Mali, however, capitalized on their numerical advantage, breaking the deadlock in the 71st minute with Nene Dorgeles’ precise strike.
Yet, Ivory Coast showcased resilience, leveling the score through Simon Adingra’s opportunistic rebound.
With the game deadlocked, extra time unfolded as a battle of wills, highlighted by Fofana’s remarkable saves.
As penalties loomed, Oumar Diakete emerged as the hero, sealing a dramatic late winner with a clever backheel finish in the 119th minute.
In a testament to the Elephants’ indomitable spirit, they now set their sights on the semi-finals against DR Congo at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan on Wednesday, 07 February.
Ivory Coast continues to defy the odds, turning each match into an epic saga as they chase their AFCON dream.