AFCON; Mali beats Tunisia in a controversial game
Mali have beaten Tunisia 1-0 in a controversial Group F game at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) that was ended prematurely twice by referee Janny Sikazwe, who later tried to play the final four minutes only for the North Africans to refuse.
Zambian Janny Sikazwe, who officiated at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, initially blew for the final whistle at 85 minutes as he got his timekeeping all wrong.
But after playing on, he repeated the error when he blew for full time once more before the clock had ticked over to the 90-minute mark. Tunisia were furious and officials stormed on to the pitch in protest, but the man-of-the-match trophy was handed out and the post-match news conferences in full swing before Confederation of African Football (CAF) officials decided the remaining minutes should be played.
After a dull first half, Mali made a bright start to the second and after only a minute were awarded a penalty when Boubacar Kiki Kouyate’s shot struck the hand of Elyas Skhiri as the Tunisia midfielder turned his back on the ball. Kone stepped up to convert the penalty and give his side the lead.
Tunisia earned a penalty after 77 minutes as Moussa Djenepo handled the ball, and after consulting the video assistant referee, Sikazwe awarded the spot kick. But Khazri’s fierce shot was beaten away by Mounkoro with an excellent save.
Meanwhile, Guinea-Bissau missed a late penalty as they were held by Sudan in their Group D opener in the Africa Cup of Nations. Midfielder Pele saw his 82nd-minute spot-kick kept out by Sudan goalkeeper Ali Abou Achrine, with Piqueti striking the bar on the rebound.