Mali book Bafana date
Moment of the match: DRC took off like a bullet when they scored in the second minute.
It is Mali versus Bafana Bafana in the quarterfinals of the Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday.
The West Africans sealed their fate in the tournament with a 1-all draw against the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Mali finished on four points after losing to group winners Ghana and beating Niger 1-0. But they were made to sweat for their point as the DRC threw everything at them.
Claude Le Roy’s charges were quick out of the blocks and took Mali by surprise in the second minute.
DRC knew that only a win would take them through and they could not have asked for a better start than the one they had when Bezua Mbokani put them ahead from a spot kick. Algerian referee Djameel Haimoudi had blown for a foul after Alain Kaluyituka was brought down in the box.
When Mbokani buried the spot kick spectators were treated to goalkeeper Robert Kidiaba’s famous hop dance.
It was game on as it meant Mali had to regroup and get the equaliser. And they did just that when Mamadou Samassa equalised in the 14th minute after connecting Sow Samba’s cross.
After the goal Mali took their feet off the pedal as they knew a draw was enough to take them through.
But the introduction of Tresor Mputu at the beginning of the second half brought life into the team as the TP Mazembe player caused havoc in the middle of the park.
Mputu tried his best to unlock the opposition but his teammates let him down. They threw everything into their attack but the Mali defence hung on until the final whistle.
Mali nearly snatched a late winner through Mohamed Traore but his header hit the upright. A minute later another substitute, Tidiane Diabate, also hit the upright.