Sunday, June 16, 2013
Benin 2 - Mali 2; Algeria 1 - Rwanda 0
The Fennec Foxes maintained their offensive mindset in the second period. Finally, the pressure broke the Rwanda defense. A long throw-in bounced into Slimani's possession. Slimani did a magnificent no-look pass off a bouncing ball with his studs the sent Taider in on goal. Taider's touch was a bit heavy, but it went just off the tip of the gloves of a sliding Ndoli, allowing for Taider to tap in the rebound. Rwanda had a decent shot on-goal from a distant free kick, but a sliding push aside off the bounce by Algeria goalkeeper Adi Mbolhi did the job. Salomon Nirisarike prevented a second goal for Algeria by beating two attackers to a rebound off another good Ndoli saved, shielding the ball until Ndoli could recover. Taider was wrong-footed on a tap-in opportunity late, but his early strike was all that was needed for Algeria's first ever win in Rwanda in three attempts. Algeria win 1-0, and the result spells the end for Benin's hopes of qualifying for Brasil 2014.
Bamako was the site for Benin's trip to Mali. A massive goalkeeping error from Mali's Mamadou Samassa allowed a below average shot from Stephane Sessegnon to squirt through his hands and give Benin the early lead. Mahamadou Samassa missed a free header that would have equalized within five minutes of the opening goal after a well-taken set piece from Seydou Keita. However, unlike in the Rwanda game, Mali were able to respond quickly, drawing a penalty on a give-and-go. They would equalize from the spot. The game remained wide open as Benin had nothing to lose, having already been eliminated, and Mali needing a victory to stay alive in the competition. On a counterattack, Jodel Dossou nearly curled in a goal for Benin, but Mamadou Samassa redeemed himself with a full-extension two-handed tip away. A couple minutes later, Benin did regain the lead through a Razak Omotoyossi turnaround shot through two defenders. Keita almost equalized on a drive following the resulting kickoff, but his shot was pushed aside by Benin goalkeeper Saturnin Allage. At halftime, the scoreboard read Benin 2, Mali 1.
Cheick Diabate received a cross inside the Benin six-yard box, gathered the ball, pushed into open space, and then scored on a turning shot to equalize with twenty minutes to go in the match. Mali, however, were unable to pull out the required victory. The match ends in a 2-2 draw, Mali's second consecutive disappointing draw at home. Mali become the twenty-fourth and final African team eliminated from the 2014 FIFA World Cup in June 2013. Algeria are the third African side to clinch a berth in the CAF Third Round.
Algeria 12 pts IN
Saphir Taider 52
Stephane Sessegnon 8
Razak Omotoyossi 32
Mahamadou Samassa 15 PK
Cheick Diabate 69
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhrmuGJ-sCY (Algeria v. Rwanda)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ge2Q1A5QjQ (Benin v. Mali)
Full Match Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyMPe2IDJYk (Algeria v. Rwanda)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGIGKiqWAH0 (Benin v. Mali)