Goals from Ousmane Diakite and Samadiare Dianka were enough for Mali to sink Tanzania 2-1 in the first leg of the Second Round clash Sunday at the National Stadium in Dar es Salam.
Tanzania's consolation was netted by Azam striker, Paul Peter but the defeat left the hosts with a mountain to climb in the return leg in Bamako next week.
The visitors were dangerous as early as the second minute of the game when Mamady Diara registered the first shot on target but Tanzania goalie, Abutwalib Mshery was up to task.
'Les Aiglons' continued their efforts towards breaking the deadlock and around the quarter-hour mark, they attempted thrice through Diarra and Dianka but their efforts went in vain.
A blunder by Tanzania goalie Mshery give Mali the opener on 33 minutes courtesy Diakite before Dianka connected a free-kick seven minutes later to double the lead.
Peter halved the deficit two minutes before the break slamming home a rebound after Mali goalkeeper Youssouf Koita spilled Ally Ng'anzi's shot his way.
The second half was tense as the hosts were looking for the chance to equalize but nothing could change the scoreboard as the visitors defended to take a narrow win to their base.
Juma Mgunda (Assistant Coach, Tanzania)
We are very sorry for the loss and apologize to our fans. We made two mistakes and our opponents capitalized on them to punish us. This result makes things a bit harder for us in the second leg because we need more goals to go through. The main challenge remains our striking force. You can see we have scored only a goal in three games, and that's weird. We need to improve if we want to knock them (Mali) out.
Dickson Job (Captain, Tanzania)
All I can say that the two mistakes in the first half changed the game but we played better. Now we are looking forward to the return leg. We believe in football and everything is possible. Apart from the goals Mali had no magic or miracles and that's give us a chance when we play them away.
Mamoutou Kane (Head Coach, Mali)
Tanzania is a good team, they played very well and that makes us a bit nervous ahead of the return leg. We played a different style of football and that makes the game very difficult. We still have a big chance to go through to the next round, however it will not be easy as we expect a tough second leg clash.
Friday, 11 May 2018
Algeria 0-0 Ghana
Saturday, 12 May 2018
Mauritania 1-0 Guinea
Guinea Bissau 2-2 Nigeria
Burkina Faso 3-1 Libya
Gabon 3-0 Cote d'Ivoire
Rwanda 0-2 Zambia
Burundi 1-1 Sudan
Uganda 1-0 Cameroon
Mozambique 1-1 South Africa
Malawi 1-2 Angola
Botswana 1-1 Congo
Senegal 0-0 Egypt
Sunday, 13 May 2018
Gambia 2-1 Benin
Tanzania 1-2 Mali