The Eagles of Mali gave fans a lot to cheer on Monday night as they raked in four goals against debutants Mauritania at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
While the Mali team were over the moon with their 4-1 win, the biggest so far at the 2019 Afcon, it was a harsh dose of reality for debutants Mauritania who were playing their first game ever, at the tournament.
Hitherto seen as one of the weakest African football nations, Mauritania were able to hold Mali until the 37th minute before Captain Abdoulay Diaby, with a 20-yard rocket, fired the ball into the top corner, to put the West Africans in front.
Moussa Marega, from the penalty spot, doubled Mali’s lead before half-time after goalkeeper Brahim Souleymane committed a foul as he attempted to make amends for a shot he spilled.
Adama ‘Noss’ Traore smacked in a third with a sweet low drive 10 minutes after half-time, but Mauritania pulled a goal back when Hacen calmly dispatched a penalty after Mamadou Fofana impeded Ismael Diakite.
Any hopes of a Mauritania fight back were effectively extinguished when substitute Adama Traore, who had earlier replaced his namesake, curled a marvellous strike beyond a helpless Souleymane.
With the victory, the Mali team are dictating the pace in Group E where Tunisia and Angola played a 1-1 draw also on Monday.
Before this big win by Mali, no team has scored more than two goals in a match.
In the other game played on Monday, the Elephants of Cote d’ Ivoire pipped South Africa 1-0.