South Africa started their 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) campaign in the worst possible way as they suffered a massive defeat at the hands of Mali.
The Bafana Bafana came into the 2023 AFCON with loads of hope of doing better than in previous editions but it seems they don’t stand a chance of winning a second AFCON title anytime soon.
In their meeting with Mali at the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium on January 16, they were expected to at least earn a point even if they can’t grab the entire three points.
Unfortunately, the South African side couldn’t even score a goal as they suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Mali to mount unprecedented pressure on themselves.
Hamari Traoré, a 31-year-old defender who plays for Real Sociedad scored the match opener for Mali in the 60th minute.
Six minutes after the opening goal, the Malian side doubled their lead in the 66th minute courtesy of a strike from Lassine Sinayoko, a 24-year-old forward of the French Ligue 2 club Auxerre.
The goal gifted Mali a 2-0 win over South Africa and took the Malians to the top of Group E with 3 points, the same points as Namibia who beat Tunisia 1-0 earlier in the day.
As it stands, South Africa have no choice but to beat Namibia on January 21 to stand a chance of making it to the round of 16 as they are currently sitting bottom of the group.
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