Result: Mali scrape past Niger

Mali open their Africa Cup of Nations Group B campaign with a narrow 1-0 win over Niger in Port Elizabeth.

Mali have opened their Africa Cup of Nations Group B campaign with a narrow 1-0 win over Niger in Port Elizabeth.

Seydou Keita's late goal has sent the Eagles to the top of the standings following Ghana's 2-2 draw with DR Congo earlier on Sunday.

Mali skipper Seydou Keita celebrates his goal as teammates follow, after a strike against Niger on January 20, 2013© AP Photos

Mali were dominant in the first half, but Cheick Diabate, Keita and Mahamadou Diarra were all wasteful with their chances.

Keita came close to breaking the deadlock 10 minutes after the restart, only for Niger goalkeeper Kassaly Daouda to deny the captain.

Niger rarely threatened, but they nearly nicked the three points in the final 15 minutes when Maazou headed over from a corner.

Mali came close to snatching a winner with 10 minutes left to play as Keita's strike crashed against the crossbar.

However, the midfielder finally made the breakthrough in the 85th minute when he took advantage of a fumble by Douada to fire in.

Seydou Keita
Read Next:
Africa Cup of Nations preview: Mali
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in with Facebook to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account