The preliminary knockout stages of the WAFU Cup 2017 being played in Ghana continued on Monday and Tuesday.
On Monday teams like Mali, Mauritania,Nigeria and Sierra Leone were in action and on Tuesday, Cote d’voire, Togo, Benin and Cape Verde also took their turns.
Mali vs Mauritania
A brace from Moussa Kone in the dying stages of the match handed Mali a 3-1 win over Mauritania in a Last 16 match at the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Monday, September 11.
Mali started the better of the two teams but could not take advantage of the their chances against low fancied side Mauritania.
Mandala Konte opened the scoring after latching onto a 20-yard shot from Mohamed Traore which bounced off the crossbar and into his path – and he made no mistake as he tapped the ball over the line from close range, 1-0.
Mauritania , though, were not going to go down without a fight and hit-back six minutes later when a corner was headed into the path of Samba Cheikh who volleyed home with clinical precision from six-yards out, 1-1.
They game fell into a bit of a lull after that with neither side really able to muster any decent goal scoring chances and the match looked to be heading for the dreaded penalty shoot-out.
That was until Moussa Kone stepped up for Mali and handed them victory with two goals in three minutes in the dying stages of the match.First, in the 88th minute Kone pounced on a loose ball inside the Mauritania box following a goalmouth scramble and fired home from close range, 2-1.
The cherry on top was his second goal and his country’s third in the 91st minute when he broke behind the defence and made no mistake with just the keeper to beat, 3-1.
Mali coach: Nouhoum Diane
Mali: 16. Diarra, 13. I Samake, 15. I Traore, 4. Samassekou, 14. L Samake, 6. Konte, 17. M Traore (2. Bah 59’), 8. Coulibaly, 7. Malle (18. Dieng 72’), 9. Kida (10. Niangaddou 57’), 11. Kone.
Mauritania coach: Martins Corentin
Mauritania: 1. Souleimane, 2. Mostapha, 3. Hassen (13. Youba 46’), 5. Bilal Sidi Mohamed, 12. Moussa, 8. Djiby (4. Wade Mohamed 62’), 9. Karamokho (7. Moctat 82’), 10. Samba, 14. Bodda, 19. Cheikh, 23. Abdoulaye.
Nigeria vs Sierra Leone
The local Super Green Eagles of Nigeria lighted up the WAFU tournament when they played against the Leone Stars.
Sierra Leone dominated the opening exchanges and almost took the lead three minutes in when Donald Wellington drove behind the defence, but failed to beat the Nigerian keeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, in a one-on-one situation.
Two goals from Moses Okoro and Moses Peter scored in the final five minutes of the game to hand Nigeria a 2-0 win over Sierra Leone in a Last 16 match during the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Monday, September 11.
Nigeria coach: Salisu Yusuf
Nigeria: 1. Ezenwa, 2. Okoro, 6. Eze, 5. Ariwachukwu, 3. Akas, 4. Aremu, 8. Ifeanyi, 10. Ali, 15. Mathias (7. Friday 65’), 9. Okpotu (11. Moses 52’), 18 Eduwo (14. Okechukwu 77’).
Sierra Leone coach: Aabubakar Tos Kamara
Sierra Leone: 16. Koroma, 2. K Fofanah, 3. Suma, 15. Dunia, 12. Allie, 13. Coker, 4. Sakila, 8. M Fofanah (19. Barrie 71’), 10. Vula, 11. Alpha (7. Sesay 57’), 9. Wellington.
Cote d’voire vs Sierra Leone
On Tuesday, the Elephants of Cote d’voire and the local Hawks of Togo engaged in a penalty shoot out before one could qualify for the group stages of the WAFU Cup.
Cote d’Ivoire goalkeeper Jean Malick Ble Zadi proved to be a hero for the Elephants after saving two penalties and scoring one himself as they beat Togo 4-3 in a penalty shootout, after their Last 16 match at the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations ended 0-0 at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Tuesday, September 12.
The Togolese team began as the better of the two teams and created the first significant chance on goal in the sixth minute when Essis Beaudeleire Aka played Roland Zan Bi through on goal, but he saw his close range effort well-saved by the Ivorian keeper.
Both teams bombarded each others area with the ball in the final minutes of the first half, but neither could break the deadlock before the referee blew his whistle.
The second half failed to produce as much excitement as the first with chances on goal few and far between.
The match ended 0-0 and went into the dreaded penalty shootout which Cote d’Ivoire won 4-3 after two saves from goalkeeper Jean Malick Ble Zadi.
Cote d’Ivoire coach: Ibrahim Kamara
Cote d’Ivoire: 1. Zadi, 2. Britto, 13. Konan, 4. Ouattara, 14. Jimoh, 9. N’Guessan (11. Guiagon 88’), 5. Aka Essis, 8. Diarra (12. Cissoko 85’), 10. Diabate, 3. Gonazo, 7. Zan Bi (15. N’Guessan 58’).
Togo coach: Abalo Jean Paul
Togo: 16. Bassa-Djeri, 17. Adegnon, 3. Issifou, 5. Ouro-Sama, 11. Kouloun, 8. Agbegniadan, 6. Novon, 2. Atchou (9. Nya-Vedji 57’), 7. Degli (18. Akoro 69’), 14. Tchatakora, 12. Sewonou.
Benin vs Cape Verde
At 6:00 pm GMT, Benin took on Cape Verde in the last knockout match.
The Squirrels of Benin won the game by two goals to nil.
Two minutes into the game Benin were lucky to still have a full complement of players when their goalkeeper, Steve Glodjinon, brought down Euclides Ramos just outside the box.
Second half goals from Ibrahim Ogoulola and Agnide Osseni handed Benin a 2-0 win over Cape Verde in a Last 16, 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations match at Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Tuesday, September 12.
In the 63rd minute Benin took the lead with a dynamite shot from Ibrahim Ogoulola which found the corner of the net from just inside the box, 1-0.
Five minutes later Euclides Ramos nearly levelled matters for Cape Verde when his long range free-kick was tipped over the crossbar by the keeper.
Ibrahim Ogoulola almost found his second goal of the game in the 80th minute, but his thunderbolt volley from 20-yards out was magnificently touched over the target by the Cape Verde keeper.
Agnide Osseni wrapped-up matters on the night with Benin’s second goal in the dying seconds of the match after concluding a well-worked passing move with a clinical finish, 2-0.
Benin coach: Oumar Tchomogo
Benin: 1. Glodjinon, 3. Fassinou, 5. Salomon, 18. Counou, 12. Bay-Yere, 8. Mama, 15. Ogoulola, 11. Gomez, 9. Saliou (4. Hougbedji 56’), 17. Aboki (13. Osseni 76’), 10. Koukpo.
Cape Verde coach: Janito Carvalho
Cape Verde: 12. M Gomes, 3. A Gomes, 4. Andrade, 13. Da Conceicao (11. Varela 83’), 15. Morais, 20. Semedo, 22. J D Monteiro, 8. Pina (9. Lopes 69’), 7. Ramos, 10. Vaz da Costa (6. Dos Santos 60’), 18. J E Monteiro.
Credit : WAFUCup