score football magazine

Africa 2008
Tuesday January 29th

Mali miss out

Needing only a draw, Mali failed to hold the Elephants and go out of the tournament. Didier Drogba accepted a pass from Yaya Toure and powerfully side-footed the ball past Mahamadou Sidibe in the 10th minute. Marc Zoro might have extended the lead 10 minutes later but missed a sitter when he headed wide from 6 yards. Mali came close 2 minutes into the 2nd half with a free-kick from Keita which Barry got down to deflect past the post. Zoro met a corner kick with a header at the near post in the 55th minute to push Mali further away from the next round, though a 2-1 defeat may have been enough for them to edge out Nigeria. Drogba had his header cleared off the line on the hour-mark and forced the Mali keeper into a save when he stabbed the ball goal-bound shortly after. Mali's Dramane Traore headed the ball onto the crossbar in the 68th minute, and at the other end Zoro headed a corner wide in the 82nd minute, but 2 minutes later Mahamadou Sidibe saved a shot from Yaya Toure and Boubacar Sanogo converted the rebound. (Ivory Coast 3 Mali 0)

Kone in control
Tuesday January 29th

Nigeria get lifeline

Nigeria scored their first goals of the tournament to book a place in the next round. Yakubu got into the box and beat a defender but curled his shot wide of the far post in the 2nd minute, while at the other end 37-year-old Alain Gaspoz tested Ejide with a low shot from just outside the box in the 15th minute. Ejide pawed away a dangerous shot from Omotoyossi early in the 2nd half, before Nigeria finally scored when the Benin keeper parried a free-kick into the path of Odemwingie who chipped the ball onto the head of John Obi Mikel to nod in at the far post. Nsofor headed against the bar in the 65th minute and having beaten a defender in the box missed his target in the 83rd minute. Nigeria punished Benin 2 minutes later when Mikel set Yakubu free to finish off the match and see Nigeria through. (Nigeria 2 Benin 0)

yakubu goal
Yakubu scores to secure win for Nigeria

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