Mali took top spot in Group F at the Africa Cup of Nations after coasting to a 2-0 win over Mauritania in their final pool fixture.
The Eagles needed simply to better Gambia’s result to lead the standings and did so as their rivals won only 1-0 against Tunisia.
Mali were already through regardless, though, and so there was little jeopardy even before Massadio Haidara’s second-minute opener – the earliest strike at the tournament so far.
The Lens left-back scored a scruffy first international goal when Moussa Doumbia touched a right-wing cross into his path.
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) January 20, 2022
Mauritania never truly looked like responding, although Ibrahima Kone’s penalty was ultimately required to pip Gambia, the forward thrashing in after a clumsy foul on Doumbia early in the second half.
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