Africa: TotalEnergies U17 AFCON - Mali See Off Burkina Faso for Winning Start

Mamadou Doumbia's expertly taken first half goal saw Mali kick off their TotalEnergies U17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Algeria 2023 campaign on a winning note with a hard earned 1-0 win over Burkina Faso in Annaba on Monday.

The win was Mali's second over Burkina Faso at the tournament, in their fourth meeting. They have now moved top of the three-team Group C, and in a good position to make the quarter finals.

Doumbia scored in the 25th minute when he brilliantly picked up a pass from Ange Martial Tia, setting himself up with the first touch and scoring with a low side-footed effort with his second.

It was a brilliant response from the Young Eagles after Burkina Faso had started faster off the blocks.

Souleymane Alio had a brilliant chance for Burkina Faso just within the opening two minutes when he was sent through on goal, but the Malian keeper made a brilliant save one on one for a corner.

In the second half, it was Burkina Faso who made the biggest push as they sought to get back into contention.

Souleymane Balde had a rasping effort with a freekick from distance which went over the target in the 63rd minute while Bougma Appolinaire had a curling effort that rolled inches wide from the mark.

While they pressed for an equalizer, Burkina Faso were almost caught off on the counter when Ibrahima Kanate went off on a run on the right and cut back a cross for skipper Ibrahima Diarra, but the effort went just wide.

In the 88th minute, Diarra almost got on target once again when he beautifully turned away from his markers at the edge of the box, but his curling effort went wide.

The Malians managed to withstand the pressure in the final minutes, and they got over the line with a hard-earned victory.

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