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Mali beat Nigeria to reach final

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Mali had their pound of flesh yesterday at the Seyni Kountche Stadium, Niamey when they defeated Nigeria to qualify for the final of the on-going African U-20 Nations Cup. Nigeria in December defeated Mali through a penalty shoot out to get to the final of the WAFU U-20 Championship.

As was the case yesterday, in that encounter last year, Mali led by a lone goal until the 82nd minute, before defender Valentine Ozornwafor brought Nigeria level, and the Flying Eagles went ahead to win on penalty shoot -out.

Yesterday, Mamadou Traore put Mali ahead in the 78th minute, while substitute Pascal Onyekachi restored parity for the Flying Eagles.

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There were no clear–cut opportunities in the extra time of 30 minutes and so the game went into the penalty lottery.

But this time, the penalty luck swung to Mali’s favour, as Aniekeme Okon blasted his effort against the crossbar and El Bilal Toure converted his to send the Malians into the final.

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