Ivory Coast qualified for the semi-finals of the African Cup of Nations on Saturday. The host country escaped elimination and won 2-1 against Mali thanks to a late goal in extra time.
After fifteen minutes of play in Bouaké, Mali had the perfect opportunity to take the lead. Adama Traoré was allowed to take a penalty, but his effort was saved by Yahia Fofana.
Just before half time, Ivory Coast had to continue with ten men. Odilon Kossounou received his second yellow card, after having already been punished for causing the penalty earlier in the match.
Twenty minutes before the end, Mali took advantage of the surplus situation. Nene Dorgeles shot the ball beautifully into the top right corner from distance. Ivory Coast was close to elimination, but just before the end Simon Adingra scored the equalizer after a nice move.
In extra time, Sébastien Haller almost gave the Ivorians the lead, but his header hit the crossbar. The match seemed to be heading for a penalty shootout, but in extra time Oumar Diakité scored ‘De Olifants’ to win.
Ivory Coast ends match with nine men
Ivory Coast finished the game with nine men and Mali with ten men. Diakité received a second yellow card after his goal and Hamari Traoré received a direct red card in Mali.
Ivory Coast will play the Democratic Republic of Congo in the semi-finals on Saturday. That country won 3-1 against Guinea on Friday.
The last quarter-final at the African Cup is scheduled for later in the evening. The Cape Verde team of Rotterdam-born Laros and Deroy Duarte, Garry Rodrigues and Jamiro Monteiro will take on South Africa at 9 p.m.