Mali faces DR Congo in CHAN 2016 final as Ivory Coast squares Guinea for bronze

Parent Category: Issue
in Issue 4

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
Pin It

By EADM Sports Writer and Agencies
(All photos from CAF media center)

Congolese player celebrating a goal during the CHAN tournament. 

In Summary: While DR Congo ended Guinea’s fairytale run, Mali waited until late in the game to overrun Ivory Coast to reach the finals of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) Orange 2016 tournament hosted by Rwanda.

Dallas, Texas--The battle lines are now clearly drawn in the race toward the supremacy in the Orange CHAN 2016 tournament hosted by Rwanda, agencies reported. In the final, Mali will face DR Congo on Sunday while Ivory Coast will square Guinea in the battle for the third place play-offs for bronze. According to agency reports, during the second semi-final match played on Thursday at the Amahoro stadium in Kigali, substitute Yves Bissouma scored the winner two minutes from time to send Mali into the final, for the first time, at the expense of Ivory Coast. Bissouma struck on the 88 minutes as Mali’s Les Aiglons reached the final of the tournament designed exclusively for footballers playing in their domestic leagues.

Substitute Yves Bissouma scored the winner two minutes from time to send Mali into the final at the expense of Cote d’Ivoire in their semi-final match on Thursday in Kigali.

Earlier on Wednesday, DR Congo edged Guinea 5-4 on penalties to reach the final of the African Nations Championship for the second time, Confederation of African Football (CAF)  Online Media reported. The Congolese, winners of the inaugural edition in 2009 in Ivory Coast, were on the brink of victory after TP Mazembe forward Jonathan Bolingi headed them into the lead in extra time, only for Guinea to draw level with virtually the last kick through Ibrahima Sory Sankhon. The highly favored Congolese had to sweat for the victory against a determined Guinean side which held them barren in regulation time.  While most of the action was played in the half of the Guineans, the last five minutes of the first half belonged to Guinea’s Syli Nationale.

Forward Bolingi was heavily policed by the Guinean backline of Mohamed Youla and Abuobacar Camara, but still managed to lay some good passes to Mechak Elia and Doxa Gikanji.

In the encounter between Mali and Ivory Coast, It was the Ivorian’s who took the game to the Malians in the opening minutes, CAF media  site stated. Ivory Coast’s Elephants almost broke the deadlock on nine minutes when Essis Aka’s shot bounced off the post with Mali goalie Djigui Diarra completely beaten. The pendulum then swung the direction of the Malians and Sekou Koita forced a superb save from Ivorian goalie Badra Ali Sangare on 27 minutes. Four minutes later, Les Aiglons were rewarded a penalty after Cheikh Ibrahim Comara handled in the box. However, Sangare denied Mamadou Coulibaly with a good save from the spot.

The second half during the game between Congo and Guinea was a balanced affair with both teams starting on a positive footing with possession switching intermittently for either side. Just as the first half, Guinea were the better side in the closing minutes but their attempts at goal were foiled by the Congolese backline forcing the game into extra time. Twelve minutes into extra time, Bolingi shot the Leopards into the lead by heading home from substitute Guy Lusadisu’s cross. But just on the stroke of time, Guinea replied with the equalizer through Sankhon who riffled home a thunderbolt that left Matampi with no option. During penalties, Matampi saved the decisive kick of Youla as the Congolese Leopards reached the final for the second time and literally ending Guinea’s fairy tale run in this biannual tournament.

Congolese player controls the ball during the CHAN tournament in Rwanda

According to Confederation of African Football  (CAF) Media reports, in the second half of the match between Mali and Ivory Coast, Mali was clearly the dominant side but found the Ivorian backline a nut too hard to crack.   However, the introduction of Bissouma as a substitute gave the Malians more option in attack and two minutes from time a cross from Sekou Diarra found Hamidou Sinayoko, who headed to Bissouma to slot home past Ali Badra. Indeed, Yves Bissouma was the undisputed Orange Man of the Match.

Malian player outsmarting Tunisian player during the quarter final match earlier this week

Meanwhile, the Head Coach for Guinea, Mohamed Kanfory Bangoura confessed that coming into the CHAN 2016 competition, his objective was at least to finish second, but lost the semis because they “played against a team, DR Congo, that was advanced mentally and technically,” News Agencies reported.

Pin It