The 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN) is coming to a close in Rwanda, and over the last two days the competition’s semi-final matches took place, with Mali and DR Congo emerging from the last four teams to contest the final this coming weekend.
Below is a round-up of the semi-final results:
Mali 1-0 Cote D’Ivoire
Mali earned their ticket to the final of the 2016 CHAN with a narrow 1-0 victory over the Ivorians on Thursday evening at the Stade Régional de Nyamirambo.
Cote D’Ivoire started the stronger of the two, but a few chances went begging and Mali eventually turned the tide and were awarded a penalty in the 32nd minute after a hand ball in the box. Mamadou Coulibaly could not convert, however, as his penalty was expertly saved by Badra Ali Sangare.
Just as it seemed as though regulation time would end in a goalless stalemate, the Malians found the breakthrough that they were desperate for. A 89th minute power move from Yves Bissouma saw him force his way into the box and past his defender before finishing to secure a final against Congo DR on Sunday.
Congo DR 1-1 Guinea (5-4 penalty shootout)
A thoroughly entertaining 120 minute semi-final between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Guinea ended in favour of the Congolese.
Congo DR was a dominant force during regulation time, but despite the run of play falling in favour of the Congolese, there were no goals to report during the first 90 minutes, with the game moving into extra time.
The action heated up in extra time, as Jonathan Bolingi scored for the Leopards to finally give their dominance some meaning. But Guinea was not prepared to take that lying down, and a last minute goal from Ibrahima Sory Sankhon meant that a penalty shootout would determine the destiny of that semi-final.
Congo DR skipper Kimwaki, Michel Mika, Bolingi, Gikanji and Elia scored, while Sankhon, Aboubacar Camara, Aboubacar Bangoura and Daouda Camara saw their kicks successfully converted, before Matampi saved Youla’s penalty to secure a final for the Congolese. They will play Mali on Sunday to decide the competition champion.