African Cup of Nations: Seydou Keita pleads for peace after notching late goal for Mali

 

Seydou Keita's perseverance brought Mali a 1-0 win over Niger when the skipper pounced on a late goalkeeper mistake to give his troubled West African nation the first victory of the tournament.

The Group B match was heading for the fourth straight draw of the African Cup before Keita poked home after Niger goalkeeper Kassaly Daouda spilled a cross in the midst of a bunch of players in the 84th minute.

After the game, Keita wore a white t-shirt with the words "Peace for Mali" spelled out in red letters in French when he received his man of the match award. The slogan was in reference to the ongoing conflict in his homeland.

Niger had been resilient at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, but Mali had earlier chances to win as Keita's fierce drive in the 54th minute was just saved by Daouda and he then hit the crossbar in the 77th with a left foot curler from near the edge of the area - this time with Niger's goalkeeper beaten.

Mali's hard fought and late win now puts them top of Group B after one of the pre-tournament favorites, Ghana, blew a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with Congo in the first game in Port Elizabeth on Sunday. The countries meet next in a familiar rivalry having played each other twice at the 2012 African Cup - and with a place in the quarterfinals in 2013 in the balance.

"We all know that we have to make a fantastic game against Ghana," Mali coach Patrice Carteron said. "If we can make it (win) we know we will be qualified. Mentally we have to be strong." Earlier Congo came back from two goals down to claim a draw against Ghana at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Emmanuel Agyemang Badu's finely-worked strike late in the first half and Albert Adomah's header in the second half put Ghana in control, but Tresor Mputu replied in the 53rd minute before Dieumerci Mbokani's penalty 20 minutes from time.

Congo Coach Claude LeRoy said: "My players deserve this."

Cup details

Yesterday's results (Group B)

Ghana 2-2 Congo

Mali 1-0 Niger

Today's fixtures (Group C)

Zambia v Ethiopia (3pm, Eurosport)

Nigeria v Burkina Faso (6pm, ITV 4)

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
people
Life and Style
techApp to start sending headlines, TV clips and ads to your phone
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment