2019 WAFU Cup of Nations, Cup Semifinals
  • Ibrahima Drame (51')
  • Mansour Kane (81')
  • Ibourahima Sidibé (85')

Senegal beat Mali to set up Ghana clash in WAFU Cup of Nations final

Hosts Senegal earned a place in the Cup final of the 2019 WAFU Cup of Nations after beating Mali 2-0 at the Stade Lat Dior on Wednesday.

The host nation controlled the flow of play from the onset but only managed to create their first scoring chance in the 18th minute when Philippe Paulin Keny met a left-sided free-kick with a strong 12-yard header that went inches over the target.

Four minutes later Senegal were a threat again in the air when Ibrahima Drame got on the end of a corner-kick, but his eight-yard header skimmed the top side of the crossbar.

On the half hour mark Mali fashioned their first scoring chance after individual brilliance from Mamaye Coulibaly saw him drive into the box from the left flank, but his 14-yard shot from an acute angle was well saved by the keeper.

The Eagles suffered a bit of a set-back in the 41st minute when star man Moussa Kone had to leave the field, with what looked to be a stomach bug, and was replaced by Amadou Camara.

Two minutes after coming on Camara looked to have won a penalty-kick after being pulled down inside box, but the referee failed to award it and the half ended goalless.

Six minutes into the second stanza Senegal took the lead when Ousseynou Niang beat two defenders on his way into the box from the right before squaring for Drame to tap home, 1-0.

The Lions of Teranga should have doubled their lead in the 58th minute when an error in defence allowed Assane Mbodj through on goal, but he fired over from ten yards out with an empty net at his mercy.

Mali tried to find a way back into the game but were caught on the counterattack in the 80th minute when Niang slipped Drame through on goal and he was brought down in the box by the keeper -- leaving the referee no choice but to point to the spot.

Elhadji Madicke Kane stepped up for the home nation and coolly slotted the penalty-kick to make it 2-0.

The match ended on a sour note for Mali when second half substitute Ibourahima Sidibe was shown a straight red card in the 84th minute following a tackle from behind on Niang.

Senegal will now face Ghana, the defending champions, in the Cup final of WAFU 2019 on October 12.