Group A ended today with both of the final matches played concurrently. Host nation Angola played Algeria in the first of the two matches, with these two favorites to go through, whilst Mali fought against Malawi in the second match.
The Malians were the first to make a move on this group when Kanoute put them 1-0 up against Malawi after a mere thirty-seven seconds of play, this goal was followed by a scorcher from Keita in the third minute to sink Malawian hearts early on.
Things weren’t going Mali’s way in the Angola/Algeria game though as those two sides were deadlock in a 0-0 draw. As it stood at half-time (with the scores 2-0 and 0-0) Mali were heading out of the competition along with Malawi and they desperately needed a winning goal from either of the two teams in the other game.
Things took another turn when Malawi pulled one back against Mali. Russel took control of a scrambled piece of play to tuck the ball away and give the outsiders a chance of their own. Russel later missed an open goal when his downward header bounced over the ball from just a few yards out.
Elsewhere, the Angola game was still goalless. Both teams would surely be heading through if the game remained tied and they both seemed content to keep it tied and struggle through to the next round.
Mali made it 3-1 with five minutes left, killing Malawi’s hopes with a header from Bagayoko. Mail were still heading out though as Angola and Algeria continued to play for the draw and ended the game 0-0. Angola win the group and will wait on what happens between Ghana and Burkina Faso tomorrow to find out who they play in the next round.