AFCON 2021: Poor officiating takes center in the Mali, Tunisia game

Centre referee, Janny Sikazwe had a poor day in office while officiating the game between Mali and Tunisia in Group F of the African Cup of Nations.

Ibrahim Kone’s second-half penalty was enough to sink Tunisia as ten-man Mali secured all points in the first game on Wednesday January 12, 2022.

At the start of the entertaining game, both sides shared equal spells of possession but none would find ground in the opponent’s final third.

Mali found their maiden chance of the game through defender Boubakar Kouyate but his effort failed to get on target of Tunisia’s goal.

At the death of the first stanza, Mali came close to opening the party but Massadio Haidara’s fierce shot wide missing the target by inches.

Three minutes into the second stanza, Mali took a well deserved lead through Kone after converting from the spot leaving Tunisia’s custodian Bechr Ben Said helpless.

In the 56th minute, Tunisia nearly levelled through Wahbi Khazri’s venomous freekick but Mali’s shotstoppper Ibrahim Mounkoro pulled off a superb save to keep his area safe.

Mali’s Moussa Djenepo held the ball in the dangerous area resulting into Tunisia’s penalty but Khazri’s effort from 12 yards was saved by Mounkoro.

With three minutes left on the clock, El Bilal Toure was sent off the field of play leaving Mali’s players a man less in dying minutes.

This gives Mali an early log summit keeping Tunisia at the bottom below Gambia and Mauritania who have not yet played a single game.

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