Sunday, March 24, 2013

Mali 2 - Rwanda 1

2013 African Cup of Nations semifinalists Mali made the trip southeast to Kigali to face off against Rwanda.  Surprisingly, the Amavubi were stronger than Mali out of the gate, and their persistent pressure paid off handsomely with eight minutes to go in the first half.  An excellent lofted chip pass over the top of the Malian defense by Edwin Ouon was gathered by Meddy Kagere (pictured, yellow) on a jumping trap.  Kagere composed himself and then slotted home to give Rwanda a 1-0 lead.  That would be the score at the close of the half.

Mali made Rwanda pay for not taking more of their chances in the first half.  Five minutes after the restart, a Seydou Keita inswinging free kick spelled disaster for the Amavubi as Mahamadou Samassa rose above the crowd in the penalty area to flick a header into the side netting to equalize.  Mali needed only another five minutes to find the go-ahead goal.  Rwanda were unable to clear their lines, so Mali had an extra opportunity in attack.  Abdou Traore made the most of it, playing a stellar one-two-one with Mohamed Sissoko and then volleying the lofted return pass into the goal as it was descending at the near post.  Les Aigles had their first lead at 2-1.  Mali concentrated on defense from thereon out, and they locked down their first road win of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.  Mali win 2-1.

Mali 6 pts +1
Benin 4 pts +1
Algeria 3 pts +3
Rwanda 1 pts -5

Mahamadou Samassa 50
Abdou Traore 55

Meddy Kagere 37

Match Reports:


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