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Africa Cup of Nations 2019: Mali cruise past Mauritania in Group E


Moussa Marega, Mali

Moussa Marega’s penalty late in the first half gave Mali a 2-0 lead

Mali produced a dominant display to beat tournament debutants Mauritania at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Abdoulay Diaby drilled a powerful effort into the top corner from 25 yards to give the Eagles the lead.

A Moussa Marega penalty and a strike from Monaco’s Adama Traore increased Mali’s advantage, before Moctar Sidi El Hacen pulled a goal back from the spot.

Metz’s Adama Traore, on for his namesake, completed the scoring, curling in from the edge of the box.

Mauritania, taking part in the tournament for the first time in their history, started brightly in Suez but the result was rarely in doubt after Diaby’s sublime opener.

The minnows take on Angola in their next Group E game on Saturday (15:30 BST kick-off), while Mali face Tunisia on Friday (15:30 BST).


BBC Arabic’s Mohamed Qoutb

Mauritania fans experienced a historic moment as they heard the national anthem of their country played for the first time in Africa Cup of Nations history, but what happened on the pitch was not quite so enjoyable for them.

Mali’s performance showed they are set to pose a threat to Tunisia’s supposed dominance in this group, while Mauritania definitely need to loosen up and play with less pressure in the next match against Angola if they want to retain hope of an unlikely place in the knockout stages.

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