The Eagles of Mali claimed another victory over Bafana Bafana of South Africa on Tuesday with an emphatic 2-0 win in the Group E match of the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote D'Ivoire.
South Africa squandered a golden opportunity in the first half when Percy Tau of Al Ahly missed a penalty awarded for a foul on a Malian defender.
Mali's captain and Real Sociedad player, Hamani Traore, opened the scoring in the 60th minute from a well-executed set piece. Auxerre FC player Lassine Sinayoko extended the lead, capitalizing on a rebound from the crossbar in the 66th minute.
With this result, Mali leads Group E with 2 goals and 3 points, Namibia is second with a goal and 3 points, Tunisia is third with no points and a goal difference of minus one, while South Africa stands at the bottom with a goal difference of minus 2 and no points.
In their three previous encounters, Mali and South Africa played to a 1-1 draw in an AFCON match on February 2, 2013, another 1-1 draw in an African Nations Championship duel on January 15, 2014, and South Africa won 2-1 in a friendly on October 13, 2019.
Mali, ranked 51st in the world, has played 53 AFCON matches without winning the trophy. In their recent preparations, they drew 1-1 with Uganda, beat Saudi Arabia 3-1, defeated Chad 3-1 in a World Cup match, drew 1-1 against CAR in another World Cup qualifier, and thrashed Guinea Bissau 6-2 in a friendly.
South Africa, ranked 66th in the world, is making its 12th appearance. In their recent preparations, they played a goalless draw with Eswatini, drew 1-1 with Ivory Coast, won 2-1 against Benin Republic in a World Cup match, lost 0-2 to Rwanda in another World Cup duel, and had a goalless draw with Lesotho.
South Africa's notable achievements include winning the 1996 AFCON when they hosted the tournament, earning silver in 1998, winning bronze in 2000, and hosting the event in 2013 without winning a medal.