Lots drawn: Guinea in, Mali out as Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals set

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One of the most bizarre incidents in recent continental tournaments has been settled, as Guinea have qualified for the last eight of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations as the drawing of lots (basically, two names drawn out of a hat) was needed to separate them from Mali in Group D.

[ RELATED: Lots needed to decide Group D ]

After both Guinea and Mali drew all three group games 1-1, they were left with identical records and there was no other way to separate them other than a random drawing of lots as to who would qualify for the quarterfinals. Although slightly crazy, ‘them’s the rules.’

The process happened on Thursday in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea as an official each from the two nations were present along with two African football confederation officials. Sat at a table, both the Malian and Guinean official reached into a bowl at the same time and picked one of two green balls each and opened them to reveal a number on a piece of paper.

Guinea’s representative, Amara Diabo, revealed his piece of paper had No. 2 written on it so they went through to the last eight of the Africa Cup of Nations, while Mali crashed out despite not losing a game at the tournament.

Surely there is a better way to decide this unprecedented outcome? A one-off playoff game between the two nations seems more fair to me. Anyway, well done Guinea and commiserations to Mali.

After this was straightened out, the field for the quarterfinals is now set and here’s the schedule for the weekend as the two Congo’s clash, the hosts take on Tunisia, Guinea will now play Ghana and a monster match between Ivory Coast and Algeria finishes things off to see who will make the semifinals.

Quarterfinal draw, Africa Cup of Nations

Saturday – Congo vs. Congo DR – 11 a.m. ET
Saturday – Tunisia vs. Equitorial Guinea – 2:30 p.m. ET
Sunday – Ghana vs. Guinea – 11 a.m. ET
Sunday – Ivory Coast vs. Algeria – 2:30 p.m. ET