Wilfried Zaha scored the only goal as Ivory Coast edged out Mali fortuitously to reach the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals.
Crystal Palace winger Zaha raced on to Sylvain Gbohouo’s deep free-kick and got to the ball before Mali goalkeeper Djigui Diarra to tuck away the crucial goal 14 minutes from full-time. Ivory Coast had been second best for much of the contest, but advanced to the last-eight with Zaha’s intervention.
Mali will look back ruefully after Moussa Marega and Moussa Djenepo both missed good scoring chances while the game was level. The Elephants have won the competition twice – in 1992 and 2015 – and will now face Algeria in the last-eight on Thursday.
The quarter-final line-up was completed later on Monday when Tunisia overcame Ghana after a penalty shoot-out in Ismailia, their contest having ended 1-1 after 120 minutes. Taha Yassine Khenissi’s goal appeared to have won the game for Tunisia in normal time, only for substitute Rami Bedoui to head into his own net in injury time, with his first touch of the contest.
Goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustapha was the hero for Tunisia, coming on for the penalty shootout and saving Caleb Ekuban’s penalty to send his side forward to meet surprise package Madagascar in the last-eight. Algeria have impressed to this point in the tournament, showing a ruthless streak.
Manchester City midfielder Riyad Mahrez was amongst their goalscorers in a 3-0 win over Guinea that ensured a quarter-final spot. Senegal are tournament favourites at 2.50, with Algeria 4.50 and Ivory Coast now 7.50 to lift the trophy.