Mali knock out Zimbabwe Warriors

The Zimbabwe Warriors were knocked out of the ongoing African Nations Championships, losing 0-1 to Mali in a crucial group D match played at the Stade Umuganda in Gisenyi, Rwanda.


Mali earned their sweet revenge against Zimbabwe who knocked them out from the 2014 African Nations Championship in the quarterfinal stage.

The solitary goal for Mali came late in the 82nd minute as they took the lead after a left-sided free-kick from Samake was volleyed home from a couple of yards out by Sissoko to give Mali the deserved 1-0 lead.

Earlier, Zimbabwe came into the game under pressure needing a win after succumbing to a 1-0 loss to Zambia in their group opener and remaining at the bottom of the group while Mali had settled for a 2-2 draw against the Uganda Cranes
Mali knock out Zimbabwe Warriors
Mali dominated the early possession as they pushed forward in numbers but the Warriors' defence remained impenetrable and very solid. In the 10th minute the Warriors embarked on a string of passes pushing forward but the resultant shot from the beautiful move was easily thwarted by Mali keeper Diarra.

Mali’s Dante earned an early yellow card in the 16th minute for a foul tackle but the Zimbabwe Warriors failed to capitalise from the resultant counter attack with the shot going wide.

In the 25th minute Zimbabwe's Chirambadare showed some fantastic skills beating two defenders on his way into the Mali box, but when he tried another dummy he lost the ball after too many touches instead of shooting directly at goal.

The real danger came at the half hour mark when impressive Rodrick Mutuma's beautiful header hit the woodwork as the Warriors were unlucky, failing to get on the scoresheet first as the game went to the break 0-0.

The second half was a see-saw affair with both coaches effecting tactical changes to their teams perhaps to get the much-needed goals. But it took another 82 minutes for Mali to bury any dreams harboured by Zimbabwe when Sissoko gave Mali the only goal that took them to the top of group D with four points as they awaited the Zambia v Uganda game. Mali got back on track and the Zimbabwe Warriors got to the end of the road, losing both their two matches.

Zimbabwe's starting XI: Mkuruva, Mushure, Mhlangu, Zvirekwi (Captain), Mutuwa, Madhanaga, Chitiyo, Mukatuka, Masuku, Mudehwe, Chirambadare.

Mali's starting XI: Diarra (Captain), Traore, Marius, Sekou, Bissouma, Sinayoko, Coulibaly, Samake, Sissoko, Dante, Koita.

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