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Mali-South Africa: Sinayoko sparkling, Tau can blame himself... the tops and the flops

The Malian striker was in all the Eagles' good plays against South Africa.

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Mali-South Africa: Sinayoko sparkling, Tau can blame himself... the tops and the flops

The Malian striker was in all the Eagles' good plays against South Africa. Like his entire team, he suffered pressure from Bafana Bafana during this first period. Understanding that his defense needed him to hold on, he did not hesitate to come down and make efforts to help his block. In the second half, much more technically comfortable, he hurt the South African defense. He is at the origin of the two Malian goals in this game. It was he who got the foul from the free kick, finally pushed to the bottom by Hamari Traoré (1-0, 59th). Then he was finally rewarded for his good performance with his goal scored shortly after (2-0, 65th). Following a great collective effort to recover the ball, he found himself alone in front of the goalkeeper and deceived the latter with a beautiful outside foot. Complete match for the Eagles striker, a major architect of his team's success against South Africa.

Djigui Diarra was imperial on his line. Much in demand in the first half, the Malian goalkeeper always repelled South African attempts. Whether first on the corners, where he came out perfectly to reassure his defense in complicated moments, where during several one-on-one situations, the Eagles goalkeeper never lost his duels. It is thanks to him that the Malians were able to return to the locker room tied (0-0) with South Africa. In the second half, against an amorphous South African team, he still responded in the few situations where he had to intervene, a perfect match from start to finish.


Percy Tau missed too many chances. While he was the man in form for Bafana Bafana at the start of the match, he missed a penalty which really hurt his team. Much too far back at the time of his strike, his ball flies into the sky of Korhogo and ends up in the stands. Even if he continued to be offensive afterwards, his attempts never really worried Djigui Diarra, like his header from close range which did not hit the target (42nd). In the second half, he disappeared like the rest of the South African attack, stifled by a Malian defense which managed to control him throughout the end of the match.

Difficulty caused by the rare Malian chances in the first half, the South African defense held on as best they could during the first 45 minutes. Gaining speed and too often in difficulty in the duels, we could still see the flaws in it despite the domination of Bafana Bafana in this first act. But after the break, facing the dominating Mali Eagles, it sank. Like the first goal conceded where no one follows Hamari Traoré who finds himself alone in front of the empty goal to push the ball behind the line. Then after another loss of ball, the South Africans failed to contain the Malian projection which led to the Eagles' second goal. With an impotent attack and a defense which took on water on all sides, the South Africans therefore logically bowed to Mali (2-0).

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