6 February 2019

Africa: Mamadou Traore Stun Burkina Faso

Mali playmaker Mamadou Traore scored a stunning volley five minutes into the second half to give his side their first victory Group B of the Total U-20 Africa Cup of Nations in Maradi.

The Stade Malien de Bamako attacker found space just outside the Burkinabe area when he was unmarked before firing in past Mohamed Traore to give his side a lifeline in the championships.

The win sends Mamoutou Kane's side on three points level with Ghana and Senegal who play in the late kick off but with played a game more than their West African neighbors.

Burkina Faso who as Mali lost their opening fixture against Ghana started brightly at the Stade de Maradi.

Striker Elliass Dianda bust though on the right side of Mali's defense to deliver a low cross to the far post where Djibril Cheick Ouattara's saw his effort saved by Koita Youssouf ten minutes into the match.

Dainda who caused all sorts of worries to the Malian defender took on two opponents on a ride before delivering into the area but couldn't connect to a teammate.

El Bilal Toure of Mali raced to long clearance in the Burkina area before heading straight at Mohamed Traore who comfortably made a save five minutes before the break.

Traore pulled another save against Toure on the stroke of half time with a low smart save as Mamoutou Kane and his boy head to the break looking more like the team to score.

Five minutes after the restart Mali went in front through Mamadou's spectacular volley flew past Traore to his the back of the net.

Burkina pushed Mali to the end in search of the equalizer only to be denied by the brilliant Koita who parried away Abdoul Fessal Tapsoba's acrobatic volley.

Mali held on to collect their maiden points of the tournament and boost their chances of making the last four. Senegal will take Ghana in the second match of the group with the two side's level on three points following their respective wins over Mali and Burkina Faso.

POST MATCH REACTIONS

SERAFIN DARGANI (HEAD COACH, BURKINA FASO)

"It was very difficult for us in this game but we tried our best and it didn't work for us. It is disappointing to lose against but it is an experience that we will learn from."

"Moubarack Campaore did not start the first two matches because he is a younger player and the players that played in his place did well but am really disappointed that we couldn't win.'

MAMOUTOU KANE (HEAD COACH, MALI)

"When we win its okay and when we don't people start to question our tactics and choices but I share the same feeling as the Burkina Faso coach because it is not easy."

"The most important thing is to win so we managed to do that because in this game it was only about winning. The manner and style doesn't matter."

"We will now go into the next game trying to get a win and see how the standings look at that stage."

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