The Mali national soccer team has given people back home something to smile about amid the war, as former Barcelona man Seydou Keita scored the only goal of the game that beat defensive Niger yesterday in Port-Elizabeth, South Africa, in Group B of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
The victory has given the Eagles of Mali, bronze medal winners at the last championship, a lead in the group ahead of inconsistent DRC and error-prone Ghana who drew earlier on 2-2 at the same venue.
The badly-prepared and dissent-hit Congolese – who threatened to boycott the game over unpaid bonuses – had to come from behind to salvage a point after Ghana led 2-0 and were poised to score more goals and comfortably win the game. Goals from TP Mazembe star Tresor Mputu and Europe-based Dieumerci Mbokani cancelled Emmanuel Agyeman Badu and Juventus star Asamoah’s goals, and saved the day and gave Claude Leroy some relief ahead of their game Thursday against Niger.
Today, Monday 21 January, Ethiopia meet Zambia at 5pm (South Africa time) and Nigeria lock horns with Burkina Faso at 8pm in Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit in Mpumalanga Province.