Sinan RAJUB SENOGA
Mali became the first nation to book a berth in the semi finals of the ongoing CHAN tournament in Cameroon.
The Eagles beat Congo Brazzaville 5-4 on penalties following a full-time goalless draw at the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium in Yaounde to seal a place in the CHAN semi finals for the second time ever.
Mali showed intentions of winning the game in normal time but never caused serious problems for the Congolese.
After 120 minutes of no goals, it was a decisive penalty shoot out that had to settle the encounter.
Congolese right back Prince Mouandza Mapata missed the first penalty when his effort went off target and handed Mali a glorious chance to win the day.
No other shooter failed to hit the target hence Mali progressing to the next stage. Issaka Samake, Moussa Kyabou, Makan Samabaly, Mamadou Doumbia and Mamadou Coulibaly scored for Mali.
Julfin Ondongo, Hardy Binguila, Yann Mokombo and goalkeeper Pavelh Ndzila scored theirs for the losing side.
Prior to the encounter, Mali had only appeared in the semi finals once, in 2016 when they finished runners up in the edition held in Rwanda.
They will await a winner between Guinea and Rwanda.