Ivory Coast continued their remarkable comeback streak at the Africa Cup of Nations. They overcame a deficit to secure a 2-1 victory against Mali in the quarterfinal on Saturday. They clinched the win with a last-minute goal in extra time to set up a semi-final clash with the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Oumar Diakite emerged as the hero for the Ivorian team. He made a crucial touch to Seko Fofana’s strike. The team played with 10 men for most of the game due to Odilon Kossounou’s first-half dismissal. Mali took a 71st-minute lead with Nene Dorgeles. However, fueled by the home crowd at the Stade de la Paix, Ivory Coast staged a comeback. Simon Adingra leveled the score in the 90th minute. This forced the match into extra time.
Diakite then sealed the victory. However, he received a second booking and was sent off for removing his shirt in celebration. The drama continued, with Mali’s Hamari Traore also receiving a red card at the final whistle.
The Ivorians had reached the knockout stage as one of the four best third-placed finishers, but they had limped into it. This was despite a 4-0 loss to tiny Equatorial Guinea. Then, they revived their hopes by narrowly defeating Senegal on post-match penalties in the last 16.