African Cup of Nations: Third place is Sow sweet for happy Mali


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The Independent Football

Midfielder Samba Sow was dancing in front of his team-mates in jubilation after his Mali side secured an unexpected 2-0 victory over 10-man Ghana in the third-place match at the African Cup of Nations on Saturday. It was the country's best finish at the tournament since it lost the 1972 final.

Sow, the 22-year-old Lens player, simply could not hide his delight after forward Cheick Tidiane Diabaté struck twice to help Mali prevail in a match which saw Ghanaian defender Isaac Vorsah dismissed in the second half.

Mali's coach Alain Giresse danced on to the field at the final whistle before being held aloft by his ecstatic squad of players.

Mali supporters were determined to enjoy the occasion regardless of the result as pockets of fans arrived with guitars and drums ready to play and beat in the stands.

The victory in Malabo, capital of Equatorial Guinea, atoned for Mali's 2-0 defeat at the hands of Ghana in the group stages. The Ghanaians, four-times champions, finished the tournament with successive defeats after their shock semi-final failure against Zambia.