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African Nations Cup MALI 2002
Group A
Group B
Group C
Group D
3rd place
parallel third matches 
Jan 28 1800 GMT, Group A - parallel third matches:

Nigeria  2 1-0 4
Liberia  2 3-3 2
Mali  2 1-1 2
Algeria  2 2-3 1
No decision has been made yet in Group A. 
Nigeria need a draw against Liberia or a draw in the other match to advance (apart from another special but unrealistic and more complicated scenario)
Liberia need to beat Nigeria. Or: a draw against Nigeria and a low scoring draw in the other match.
Mali need to win their match. Or: a draw against Algeria and Nigeria to beat Algeria. Or: A high scoring draw against Algeria and a low scoring draw in the other match.
Algeria simply need to win (apart from that unrealistic complicated scenario which would make a 2 goal victory necessary)
tie breaker rule as promoted by CAF:
1. points
2. goal-difference
3. goals scored
4. result direct encounter (only if only 2 teams are involved!)
5. drawing lots
(Possibility 5 would come into effect f.e. if Nigeria - Liberia ended 0:0 and Mali-Algeria ended 2:2.) 
(Possibility 4 would come into effect f.e. if Algeria beat Mali by 1:0 and Liberia beat Nigeria by 3:2.)
> preview group A
Liberia - Nigeria  0:1

Only one point seperated the two teams during the World Cup qualifiers, still Nigeria go into this match as favorites. Liberia conceded two late goals in their first two matches and this costed them 4 valuable points. Both came on desperate longe range attempts. With 3 goals conceded the Liberian defence seems no match for the Nigerian attacking potential but the Nigerian defence itself has not been invincible and Liberian attackers have looked sharp, being the top scoring line of the tournament so far.
Nigeria are 52% percent favorites to win (odds: 8/11 frac. 1.7 dec.), Liberia are rated 20% (7/2 frac. 4.5 dec.), a draw 28% (11/5 frac. 3.2 dec.).

Mali - Algeria  2:0 

Both teams have pleased by their constructive attacking football. Mali have achieved a certain midfield dominance and kept the ball well away from their goal. But they have not created many chances. Algeria have had more of that but deficits in converting including some bad luck. Confronted qith quick sharp attacks both defences have had problems.
Mali are rated slight favorites at 39% percent favorites to win (odds: 13/10 frac. 2.3 dec.), Algeria are rated 32% (9/5 frac. 2.8 dec.), a draw 29% (21/10 frac. 3.1 dec.).

1st half:
-Nigeria in green, Liberia in white socks, red shorts, and blue jerseys and without the suspended Roberts and injured Debbah.
-slow beginning, first Nigerian opportunity after 8 minutes
-('10) Lawal from 20 meters but the Nigerian keeper dives to save the ball
-Nigeria dominating midfield, Liberia are drawn back, crowd the defence and wait for counter opportunities. But it seems that Nigeria will not have problems to create chances
-Nigeria try with several long range shots but so far wide or no problem for Crayton
-('31) Liberia: Weah with an opportunity, a shot across the bar from 13 meters after a corner
-('39) Liberia sleep in defence and leave Aghahowa alone, a Liberian defender stops him, but only by handling the ball - penalty
-('42) Finidi George shoots into the right corner but Crayton saves as the ball is not very sharp and half high and so reachable for him

halftime 0:0
Nigeria have not been convincing so far against a modest Liberian side. They control the game but are only with one goal distance to desaster.

1st half:
-Mali in white, Algeria in green
-Mali starts with huge pressure and several good chances
-('17) spectacular strike by #9 Bagayoko, he stops the ball with his back to the goal twists around the defender and fires the ball into the triangle from 14 meters half right - 1:0
-('27) a fast counter attack, Bagayoko sets up #8 Bassala Touré who is alone against the keeper and puts the ball past him - 2:0
-('29) #10  S. Coulibaly hits the goalpost with a deflected shot
-('34) S.Coulibaly hits the goalpost with a spectacular 20 meter strike.
-Dramatic incident (only reported, unconfirmed) : Tasfaout has been hit by an opponents arm and transported by ambulance to the hospital

halftime 2:0
spectacular 1st half by the hosts

2nd half:
-('56) an error of concentration in the Nigerian defence and a golden opportrunity for Liberia. Alow cross into the middle, Weah puts his foot in but from 5 meters the ball goes wide
-('58) Liberia: Frank Seator breaks through, is inside the penalty area but his shot is inaccurate and wide
-have Nigeria understood the double warning?
-('61) Kanu sets up Finidi George who attempts a precise shot from 20 meters only to miss the goal by a meter
-('63) Okocha almost surprises the keeper from 30 meters:
-('64) the ensuing corner: a defender and the keeper interfere with each other and the ball bounces on onto the head of Aghahowa who scores easily -0:1
-('66) Kanu dribbles and fires from 16 meters, but Crayton with a good save
-Liberia are too harmless to play anything else than from a counter position. they seem unable to compensate for the missing key players
-('76) Liberian keeper Crayton saves two wild long range shots by Okocha?(one freekick)  without problem 
-('83) Liberia: Prince Daye with an attempt from 20 meters but wide and not very dangerous
-(86) long ball on Babangida,, Crayton is out of the goal but does not get the ball, Babangida has already passed him but a defender can catch up with him and clear
-('88) D.Sebwe tries to elbow Aghahowa but neither hits him nor sees a card or any warning.

final score 0:1
Nigeria are qualified for the quarter finals

match data as published by CAF Online:

Referee: Falla Ndoye (Senegal)
Ass. Referees: P. Domingo (MOZ), Pedro Simao (ANG)
Attendance: 9,000 
Scorer: Julius Aghahowa 63
Liberia: 1-Louis Crayton, 20-Jimmy Dixon, 5-Dionysius Sebwe, 17-George Gebro (2-Fallah Johnson 82), 21-Thomas Kojo, 6-Kelvin Sebwe, 12-Oliver Makor, 18-Josephus Yenay, 14-George Weah, 7-Frank Seator (11-Marr Sarr 72), 15-Prince Daye 
Nigeria: 1-Ike Shorunmo, 2-Joseph Yobo, 6-Taribo West, 5-Isaac Okoronkwo, 15-Sunday Oliseh, 14-Ifeanyi Udeze, 10-Austin Okocha, 7-Finidi George (13-Tijani Babangida 66), 11-Garba Lawal, 17-Julius Aghahowa (8-Yakubu Alyegbeni 92+), 4-Nkwanko Kanu 
Cautions: None

2nd half:
-the match more balanced in the second half with some goalscenes on bothe sides

final score 2:0
Mali are qualified for the quarter finals
Nigeria  3 2-0 7
Mali  3 3-1 5
Liberia  3 3-4 2
Algeria  3 2-5 1
match data as published by CAF Online:

Referee: Lim Kee Chong (MRI)
Ass. Referees: B. Mudzamiri (ZIM), Osman Hamid (SUD) Scorers: Mamadou Bagayoko 18, Bassala Toure 24
Attendance: 50,000 
Mali: 1-Mahamadou Sidibe, 2-Daouda Diakite (14-Vincent Doukantie 46), 5-Fousseini Diawara, 15-Boubacar Diarra, 19-Adama Diakite, 11-Djbril Sidibe, 12-Seydou Keita, 8-Bassala Toure, 10-Soumaila Coulibaly, 6-Mahamadou Diarra, 9-Mamadou Bagayoko. 
Algeria: 1-Lounes Gaouaoui, 3-Moulay Haddou, 13-Brahim Zafour, 20-Mahieddine Meftah, 21-Mohamed Bradja, 6-Yazid Mansouri, 7-Omar Belbey, 15-Nassim Akrour, 16-Lounis Bendahmane (8-Billel Dziri 40), 10-Abdelhafid Tasfaout (14-Nassim Bounekdja 44), 11-Kamel Kherkhache (17-Slimane Raho 40). 
Mali: 10- Coulibaly (70)
Algeria: 3- Haddou (6), 13- Zafour (26), 6- Yazid (47), 7- Belbey (67)



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