The Wilfried Zaha to Arsenal rumors will continue for another few days, because the Premier League star isn’t done having his say at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
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Zaha followed a long ball forward and latched onto it just before Mali goalkeeper Djigui Diarra could get off his line, as Zaha finished past Diarra to lead the Ivory Coast to a 1-0 win over Mali, on Monday in Egypt. With the win, the Ivory Coast advances to quarterfinals, where it will face Algeria on Thursday. Algeria beat Guinea, 3-0, on Sunday.
It was a match of numerous missed chances. Mali’s Moussa Marenga and Youssouf Kone had multiple chances they skied over the bar, and in one case, Kone had a shot saved by Ivory Coast’s Sylvain Gbohouo. In the second half, Jonathan Kodjia of Ivory Coast and Adama Traore of Mali traded chances, but few shots were placed on target as both teams looked set to go to penalty kicks. Of the ones that were on target, most were tame efforts, with both team’s defenses nullifying any clear chances in the box.
Ultimately, it was the long ball that Zaha was quickest to on the second phase after an initial header, finishing into an open net and running towards his bench in elation after scoring.
Elsewhere, Tunisia stunned Ghana, winning 5-4 on penalty kicks. Tunisia advances to play Cinderella Madagascar on Thursday in the quarterfinals.
Mali and Ghana claimed group titles ahead of the knockout rounds, and the bracket is now set following four Tuesday matches at the Africa Cup of Nations.
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Angola 0-1 Mali
Amadou Haidara of RB Leipzig scored the lone goal as Mali claimed Group E honors.
Mauritania 0-0 Tunisia
It turns out that all Tunisia needed to advance to the knockout rounds was a draw. Mauritania was not as fortunate.
Benin 0-0 Cameroon
Benin’s third draw of the tournament sees it through to the Round of 16 and a date with Morocco.
Guinea-Bissau 0-2 Ghana
Jordan Ayew‘s second goal of the tournament broke the deadlock after halftime as the Black Stars sent Guinea-Bissau home.
Round of 16
Uganda v. Senegal – July 5
Morocco v. Benin – July 5
Madagascar v. Democratic Republic of Congo – July 7
Ghana v. Tunisia – July 8
Mali v. Ivory Coast – July 8
Algeria v. Guinea – July 7
Nigeria v. Cameroon – July 6
Egypt v. South Africa – July 6
Groups E and F reach their finale on Tuesday, as the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations knockout round bracket will be set after these four games.
And all eight teams in action can still make the Round of 16.
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In Group E a point will likely be enough for group leaders Mali, who have already reached the knockout round, to finish top, while Tunisia must beat Mauritania to have a chance of topping the group and have an easier path in the knockout rounds. If Mali do finish top of the group they will play against the Ivory Coast in the Round of 16.
Group F is somewhat complicated, but Cameroon have definitely advanced and a win against Benin will seal top spot for the reigning champs. Any of Benin, Guinea-Bissau or Ghana can still reach the last 16, with the latter potentially playing Nigeria in the last 16 if they do finish second in Group F.
Below is the full schedule for the AFCON action on Tuesday, while you can follow all of the action live by clicking on the link above.
2019 Africa Cup of Nations schedule – Tuesday, July 2
Benin v. Cameroon – 12 p.m. ET
Guinea-Bissau v. Ghana – 12 p.m. ET
Angola v. Mali – 3 p.m. ET
Mauritania v. Tunisia – 3 p.m. ET
CAIRO (AP) Defending champion Cameroon and Ghana drew 0-0 at the African Cup of Nations to leave their group wide open with one round of games to play.
It was the second scoreless game of the day with Mauritania and Angola also having a goalless draw.
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Christian Bassogog had two good opportunities to give Cameroon a victory in Ismailia that would have sent it through to the last 16 from Group F. His shot just before halftime was brilliantly saved by Ghana goalkeeper Richard Ofori. Bassogog’s goal-bound effort in the 76th minute was blocked by defender Jonathan Mensah.
Ghana’s Owusu Kwabena hit the crossbar with three minutes to go.
Group E is also anyone’s for the taking after there were no goals between Angola and Mauritania. Angola’s Geraldo had a late goal ruled out for offside.
Cameroon versus Ghana, one of the most highly anticipated games of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations group stage, headlines a three-game day at the tournament in Egypt.
[ LIVE: Africa Cup of Nations scores ]
The two African powers have combined to win nine African titles — five for Cameroon, four for Ghana (second- and third-most in history, respectively) — and they’ll meet in game no. 2 of Group F play.
Cameroon leads the group following a tournament-opening victory over Guinea-Bissau, while Ghana sits third with one point from their draw with Benin.
Below is the full schedule for the AFCON action on Saturday, while you can follow all of the action live by clicking on the link above.
2019 Africa Cup of Nations schedule – Saturday, June 29
Mauritania v. Angola – 10:30 a.m. ET
Cameroon v. Ghana – 1 p.m. ET
Benin v. Guinea-Bissau – 10:30 a.m. ET