Three matches of the ongoing 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) were decided on Tuesday, January 16. Here is summary of all the games.
Late Bertrand Traore Penalty Secures Burkina Faso Victory Vs Mauritania
In the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Côte d’Ivoire 2023, first game on Tuesday, January 16, Burkina Faso secured a late victory against Mauritania with a decisive penalty kick.
Mauritania, still in pursuit of their first Africa Cup of Nations win, displayed resilience in the first half by creating several promising chances. Burkina Faso’s goalkeeper Havre Koffi played a crucial role, making key saves to keep the Stallions in the game.
To bolster their attacking threats, Bertrand Traore was introduced, replacing Cedric Badolo. Traore, making an immediate impact, nearly scored the opener with a curled shot from the penalty box, only to be denied by Mauritania’s goalkeeper Babacar Niasse.
As the game approached its conclusion, Issa Kabore was brought down in the box, leading to a VAR-reviewed penalty being awarded to Burkina Faso.
Substitute Bertrand Traore stepped up and confidently converted the penalty, securing all three points for Burkina Faso with a 1-0 result.
Burkina Faso’s next challenge will be against Algeria on January 20, 2024.
Namibia Shocks Tunisia with Late Winner in Monumental AFCON Upset
In a keenly contested game with few chances, Namibia stunned the football world with a late thunderbolt to secure a historic victory against Tunisia in the ongoing TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Côte d’Ivoire 2023.
The Carthage Eagles dominated possession but struggled to break through Namibia’s resilient defense led by Ivan Kamberipa. Despite Tunisia’s control of the ball, they faced frustration in penetrating the determined Brave Warriors backline.
Captain Youssef Msakni’s curled effort tested Namibian goalkeeper Lloyd Kazapua, but the Tunisians found it increasingly challenging to find a breakthrough against their determined opponents.
As the game approached its climax, and an upset seemed imminent, Namibia delivered a decisive blow in the 89th minute. Deon Hotto capitalized on a long ball over the top, outpaced the defense, and calmly slotted the ball past Tunisia’s goalkeeper Bechir Ben Said.
The Orlando Pirates winger thought he had secured a second goal, but an offside decision denied him another historic strike. Nonetheless, Namibia’s resolute defense held on to secure a clean sheet and claim a monumental three points with a 1-0 result.
This surprising victory catapults Namibia to the top of Group E with three points.
As Tunisia looks to recover against Mali on January 20, Namibia is set to face regional rivals South Africa on January 21, carrying newfound confidence from their memorable upset against Tunisia.
Mali Dominates South Africa to Secure 2-0 Victory and Top Group E
Mali kicked off their Africa Cup of Nations campaign in style, securing a convincing 2-0 win over South Africa and claiming the top spot in Group E. The match, held at the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium in Korhogo, witnessed over 16,000 spectators eager to see if South Africa could cause another upset following Namibia’s surprising victory over Tunisia earlier in the day.
South Africa had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the first half when Percy Tau was awarded a penalty via VAR. However, Tau’s attempt went awry as he skyed the ball over the crossbar, leaving the score level at halftime.
The second half saw Mali asserting their dominance, with Kamory Doumbia breaking the deadlock on the 60th minute. Doumbia’s free-kick rattled the underside of the crossbar, and captain Hamari Traore was quick to tap in from close range.
Mali extended their lead just six minutes later, with Lassine Sinayoko overpowering Siyanda Xulu and calmly slotting the ball under South African goalkeeper Ronwen Williams. The quickfire double proved decisive as Mali secured a well-deserved victory, claiming the top spot in Group E.
Les Aigles will aim to maintain their winning momentum in the upcoming matches, with South Africa looking to bounce back and make amends in their next fixture.