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AFCON U17: Mali stun holders Cameroon to qualify for quarters

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  • Mali beat Cameroon 2-0
  • They have now picked a maximum six points
  • Cameroon have to beat Burkina Faso in their last match

Mali stunned Cameroon with two late goals, beating the defending champions 2-0 to progress to the quarter finals of the Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations in Algeria.

Mahamoud Barry scored with four minutes left and Mamadou Doumbia added another with a scorcher in added time as Mali stormed into the last eight with a maximum six points. They had earlier on started their campaign with a 1-0 win over Burkina Faso.

“Playing and winning the first game helped us a lot as we were mentally more relaxed. Cameroon played with a lot of calculations on their minds especially after our win and it made things a bit complicated for them,” Mali’s head coach Soumaila Coulibaly said after the match.

Cameroon’s Serge Mimpo was distraught with the defeat and blamed it on inefficiency in goal.

“This is the first time that we have been so clumsy infront of goal, especially for our top scorer (Dorinel Yondjo). He has always been skillful and clinical in dangerous areas. But it can happen, this is football, but it does not have to repeat itself,” the tactician said.

Cameroon in a must win situation 

The defeat leaves Cameroon in a must win situation against Burkina Faso in their final group match, to avoid an early elimination.

A win will aid them into the quarter finals as the second placed team. With a -2 goal difference, even a draw will be detrimental to their dreams.

“We will play a simple game against Burkina Faso and try to correct most of the errors we had against Mali. We will talk to the players and shake off this defeat and give them the courage to face the next game on Sunday,”

After a closely contested duel in both halves, Barry beat the keeper one on one in the 86th minute when he beat the offside trap to collect a pass from skipper Ibrahim Diarra.

And Doumbia put the icing on the cake with a blinder of a goal, curling the ball beyond the keeper from almost 25 yards out in added time.

Cameroon’s missed chances 

The two-time champions scored just quarter of an hour after Cameroon had wasted a glorious opportunity. Essono Dipanda had done well on the left to cut back a cross into the edge of the six yard box, but Dorinel Yondjo skied his effort from close range.

It was a tough game with a fine balance of chances in either half, but Mali made the most of their best opportunity.

In the first half, there were no efforts on target, with Cameroon’s Harouna Djibirin having a good effort curl wide from close range while Yondjo fluffed his lines when he broke into the box from a chipped ball behind the defense.

Cameroon will take on Burkina Faso on Sunday with pressure on for a win while Mali have their group phase campaign all sewn out and are waiting for the third placed team from either Group A or B in the quarters.

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