Hamza Rafia’s first-half goal secured a draw for Tunisia against Mali, earning the 2004 champions their first point in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
In a tightly contested match, Lassine Sinayoko gave Mali the lead with a drilled opener, scoring his second goal of the tournament. However, Tunisia quickly responded as Rafia capitalized on Ali Abdi’s precise cross, finding the net via goalkeeper Djigui Diarra’s body.
The draw keeps Mali on the brink of reaching the last 16, with Eric Chelle’s side needing at least a draw in their final group-stage game against Namibia. The complexion of Group E will be influenced by the clash between Namibia and South Africa, promising an exciting group finale.
Despite being pre-tournament favorites, both nations scored with their only attempts on target in a match characterized by wayward shooting. Sinayoko’s impressive opener was countered by Rafia’s nimble finish, showcasing Tunisia’s resilience.
Mali’s Kamory Doumbia came close to restoring their lead after the break, but his shot narrowly missed the target. The match featured several missed opportunities, with Sinayoko and substitute Yves Bissouma squandering chances.
Tunisia, having suffered an upset defeat to Namibia in their opening game, now sits in third place in the group, three points behind Mali. With a deciding game against South Africa on the horizon, Tunisia aims to secure a spot in the last 16.
In their second Group E game, Tunisia fought back from behind to secure a 1-1 draw against Mali, earning their first point at the Africa Cup of Nations. Mali took the lead with Lassine Sinayoko’s early goal, but Hamza Rafia equalized within 10 minutes. Mali now tops the standings with four points, having won their opening match against South Africa.
The match lacked the excitement of earlier games in Bouake, but Mali’s four-point haul positions them well for the next round. Tunisia, however, needs a win in their last game against South Africa to boost their chances of advancing, building on their historic victory against France in the 2022 World Cup.