LIBREVILLE: And then there were four – Mali and Ghana completed the semi-final line-up at the Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday with tense quarter-final wins over Gabon and Tunisia.
Mali’s 5-4 penalty shoot out win over the co-hosts in Libreville earned the Eagles a daunting date with Didier Drogba’s Ivory Coast in the Gabonese capital on Wednesday.
Ghana narrowly avoided the ordeal of a shoot out when defeating Tunisia 2-1 in extra time in a game that ended with tempers frayed and the north Africans down to ten men.
The Black Stars have a date with Zambia in Bata, also on Wednesday.
“We were not surprised we were taken to extra time by a very good Tunisia team, but the most important thing is that we are in the semi-finals,” said Ghana assistant coach, Kwesi Appiah.
Appiah criticised the ill discipline exhibited by the north Africans towards the end of the match. “They made football look like war and I hope the authorities do something about such bad tackles and behaviour, which are not good for African football,” he said.
Tunisia coach Sami Trabelsi said his team did not deserve to crash out at this stage of the competition, while admitting his players became “a little excitable” late in the game.
“We are very disappointed we cannot go farther than this because we did not deserve to lose this game, which we dominated but could not score more than a goal,” Trabelsi said.