The Eagles of Mali beat Mauritania 2-0 in Douala to secure top spot in Group F of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon 2021.
Mali who already booked a place in the last 16 even before kicking a ball needed a win while hoping for a draw in the other group match to finish top of the group.
Mohamed Magassouba’s charges got off to bright start at the Japoma Stadium in Douala.
Left full back Massadio Haidara fired the Eagles ahead inside two minutes to send their supporters into wild celebrations.
Haidara latched on to captain Hamari Traore’s delivery to guide home his effort past the helpless Babacar Diop.
Midfielder Adama Traore flashed a dipping free kick just over the Mauritania goal on 8 minutes as they look to double their advantage.
Mauritania came close to beating the Malian keeper, but Oumar Camara headed a free kick wide.
Babacar Diop kept out Ibrahima Kone from doubling the Eagles advantage but denying Adama Traore from close range.
Bodda Mouhsine’s inswing corner into the area was headed over by the unmarked Fofana as Mauritania continue ask questions of the Malian defense.
Mali defended well to head into the break with their one goal crushing.
Moussa Doumbia won a penalty two minutes into the second following Harouna Abou’s challenge inside the area.
Ibrahima Kone stepped up to dispatch from 12 yards and send the Eagles to the top of Group F.
The Gambia beat Tunisia 1-0 in Limbé to secure second place while the Carthage Eagles squeeze through as one of best third place side ahead of bottom place Mauritania.