Mali date DR Congo in Sunday’s final of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) which is being hosted by Rwanda.
Mali beat Cote d’Ivoire 1-0 during Thursday semifinal match through a last-gasp winner from Mali’s Yves Bissoouma in the 88th minute.
While DR Congo edged Guinea 5-4 in post-match penalties after an entertaining 90 minutes of regulation time ended 0-0 and 1-1 during the extra time on Wednesday.
During the Thursday semifinal match, Cote d’Ivoire’s Essis Aka saw his effort hit the post while Mali had a penalty saved — both in the first half.
Cote d’Ivoire had to thank their goalkeeper Sangare, who thwarted many attempts from the determined Malians.
In Wednesday’s semifinal, after tying 0-0 in regulation time, DR Congo’s Jonathan Bolingi scored in the first half of extra time but Guinea’s Ibrahima Sory Sankhon equalised in the second period to go for penalties.
DR Congo’s goalkeeper won the game for his country when he saved the last penalty after the others had all scored.
African Nations Championship is only open to players who ply their trade in their own domestic leagues.
It was introduced in 2009 and the inaugural champions were DR Congo during the tournament first hosted by Cote d’Ivoire.
It is meant to strengthen the African teams by exposing the domestic league players, who are usually side lined in favour of high profile foreign-based players during the Africa Cup of Nations or the World Cup.