Ivory Coast into semi-finals after late drama against Mali

Oumar Diakité scored in stoppage time of extra time to send 10-man Ivory Coast into the semifinals of the Africa Cup of Nations with a dramatic 2-1 win over Mali in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

Simon Adingra had equalized with the host nation’s first shot on target in the 90th minute to send it to extra time, and Diakité completed a thrilling comeback by scoring in what was the 122nd minute of the game.

It prompted wild celebrations among nearly 40,000 fans in the Stadium of the Peace in Bouaké and beyond.

Diakité was booked for excessive celebrations and was sent off as it was his second yellow card. He will miss the semifinal against Congo on Wednesday.

Ivory Coast had been heading for a disappointing exit after Mali substitute Nene Dorgeles broke the deadlock with a brilliant strike from distance inside the top right corner in the 71st.

The home team had gone down to 10 men from the 43rd after Odilon Kossounou was sent off with his second yellow card for a tactical foul.

Mali had early penalty appeals after a potential hand ball from Kossounou, but a VAR check found an offside infringement in the buildup.

Minutes later, referee Mohamed Adel did award a penalty for Kossounou’s challenge on Lassine Sinayoko, only for Yahia Fofana to save Adama Traoré’s spot kick.

It prompted more commitment from the home team, which had been outplayed, but Mali’s defense largely coped with the Elephants’ charge.

Seko Fofana fired Ivory Coast’s best chance over toward the end of the half, before Kossounou saw red for his tactical foul on Sinayoko.

Dorgeles’ goal promoted a late push for an equalizer, but Mali goalkeeper Djigui Diarra was untroubled until Adingra prodded the ball home after Seko Fofana’s initial effort was blocked.(USA TODAY)

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