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African Nations Cup MALI 2002
Group A
Group B
Group C
Group D
3rd place
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Mali - Cameroon
Before the match: 
Mali, lifted by a late rescuing strike in their opening match, have made the most out of their chances. They have gained momentum and confidence throughout the tournament and will go into the match with the African champions without fear. They will be backed by an enthusiastic homecrowd and have proven in the match against Nigeria that they have to be considered a serious challenger to the big ones.
But Cameroon will not repeat the mistake of the South Africans to surrender the midfield completely. They will seek to pose a greater number of questions to the Malian defence which has not always looked like concrete especially against quick balls into attack. Here comes the question of midfield dominance into consideration. Yet Mali have been very good in dominating midfield. Against Cameroon they might lose more one on one situations which would be the basis for those quick balls into attacks. Also Cameroon are the only team yet that has been effectively using dangerous throw ins and been dangerous by pressing on the defenders during build up ball circulations. The better pitch in the Bamako stadium might relief Mali here a bit.
Mali are the only team to have conceded a goal of the four semi-finalists.
Cameroon are 47% favorites (decimal odds 1.91), Mali are assessed a good outsider chance at 24% (3.75), draw 30% (3.0) (after 90 minutes)
*odds are subject to adjustment by the sportsbook
> more about the new possibilities of betting on the African Nations Cup and how to read odds

1st half
-Cameroon without Patrick Mboma,  a real test for their depth as he has become a symbol for the team like Song and the key player in attack.
-Cameroon in yellow stockings, red shorts and green shirts. Mali in all white.
-physical beginning, Cameroon is leaving no space to Malians
-('10) Cameroon: Geremi has advanced on the right wing, is stopped for a corner. This one finds Song who heads unchallenged but it is deflected for a corner - dangerous
-('11) Mali in difficulties with the Cameroon pressure, third corner in 2 minutes
-('13) snapshot: Cameroon try a lot over the right hand side with Geremi and Lauren but now they face four opponents trying to close down that side
-('16) Cameroon: Pius NDiefi (Sedan, France) who is the replacement for Mboma makes an electrifying run into the penalty area and fires from half right but hits only the outside of the net
-up to here this match looks different for Mali than the ones played yet: It is rather Cameroon who are dominating midfield but Mali trying to await them with good organisation (two rows of four) and answer with quick long balls into attack
-('24) Cameroon break thrrough on the right hand side but Geremis cross on Ndiefi too inaccurate
-('28) Mali: #10 Soumaila Coulibaly tries from long range but wide
-Mali have some good minutes, Cameroon circle the ball around in defence, they seem to intend to calm the situation but then try a sudden long ball - offside
-('32) free kick Cameroon: they try a trick play between Geremi and Olembe but Seydou Keita has been well alerted and spoils the party
-with NDiefi the character of Cameroon attacks has changed a bit. He has not the physical presence of Mboma but the mobility and quickness like Eto'o
-a period of camerooon domination around the 35th minute
-('39) the new Cameroonian quickness pays off: Ndiefi escapes his defender reaches the groundline, makes a pass back to Olembe who shoves the ball into the wide open goal - no chance for Sidibe, the Malian keeper - 0:1
-defender Diarra has moved himself out of play with an attempted flying tackle when he was chasing Ndiefi
-('41) Mali respond: #11 Djibril Sidibe with a long range effort, takes a menacing deflection curve but goes out for a corner
-('45) fantastic speedy goal by Cameroon: a one-two between Olembe and Ndiefi, Olembe leaves the keeper no chance - 0:2

halftime 0:2
Cameroon have made clear there is a class  between the champions and a still not bad playing Mali. Credit to the decision to use Ndiefi's speed against the physical Malian defenders

2nd half
-('52) Mali try to attack and it looks good how they are spread on the field - still they face Cameroon
-Cameroon have not lost any concentration
-('56) Malian keeper perfectly intercepts a cross againts a dangerous looking Cameroon attack
-Mali try all they have learned but they face a resilient Cameroon defence
-('59) Cameroon: yellow against Geremi for a handball
-('65) promising attack by Mali but all they can get from it is a long range attempt by Sidibe. It takes some tricky bounces but can eventually be controlled by Cameroonian keeper Alioum.
-Cameroon continue to work focussed. They pose a permanent threat to the Malian defence who so far does not take any big chances
-('70) but even against crowded defence Cameroon are hard to stop: Eto'o has only some centimeters space but this is enough to take a cross directly. It bounces back from the crossbar onto the field - no goal
-('73) Mali: Bagayoko seems to get yellow as he fouls keeper Alioum who wants to kick away the ball out of his hands
-('74) Cameroon score but it is refused for a very close offside decision, not sure whether right or not
-('75) Mali: For once Seydou Keita achieves to dribble past defenders but his cross is still well defended against
-Mali start to take more chances. It seems to open more spaces for cameroon
-('77) Mali: this time it is Bagayoko who encroaches into danger zone on the same right hand attacking side as Keita before. His cross does not find another attacker
-('79) Mali: a cross finds defender Adama Coulibaly who unleashes a header but Alioum saves well. The header could not be too powerful as the cross had not been sharp.
-this have been some minutes with definitive Malian domination 
-('81) the Cameroon counter becomes stopped but Mali lose the ball again and Lauren hits the goalpost with a powerful diagonal low shot
-('82) Cameroon: Suffo in for Ndiefi
-('84) great directly played counter attack: triangle play Eto'o - Suffo, finished off by Foe - 0:3
-('88) Cameroon almost add a fourth as they attack with even more players now, relieved from any carefulness considerations
-('89) another dangerous attack by cameroon, but not as well eexecuted and stopped by the Malian defenders
-('90) Cameroon: Ngom in for Olembe
-('90+3) Suffo with a dangerous shot just wide, Djemba comes in for Eto'o but only for a second as the referee blows the whistle

final score 0:3
Cameroon just perfect. 
Mali played relatively well anyway but never came even near scoring. They just faced too strong opposition this time.

Reports say that before the match Malian riot police arrested and mishandled Cameroon assistant coach Nkono (the former goalkeeper) apparently for alleged 'black magic'. After intervention by the CAF he was released again but it seems to have worked well as extra motivation for the Cameroonian players who were able to convert it into a constructive effort on the pitch.
Later the incident was reported differently by CAF: Nkono is reported to have refused to show his accreditation badge and refused to obey directions by the police. For insultsat CAF officials he meanwhile has been handed a one year ban. Coach Winnie Schaefer who had been at the side of Nkono at the incident has received a one match ban for insulting a CAF official.

match data as published by CAF Online:

Referee: Lim Kee Chong (Mauritius) 
Ass. Referees: Taoufik Adjengui (TUN), A. Jeddaoui (MOR)
Attendance: 50,000
Cameroon: Salomon Olembe 40, 45, Marc-Vivien Foe 84
Mali: 1-Mahamadou Sidibe; 2-Daouda Diakite (14-Vincent Doukantie, 46), 4-Adama Coulibaly, 5-Fousseini Diawara, 15-Boubacar Diarra (3-Samba Diawara, 46), 11-Djbril Sidibe (18-Mahamadou Dissa, 73), 12-Seydou Keita, 8-Bassala Toure, 10-Soumaila Coulibaly, 6-Mahamadou Diarra, 9-Mamadou Bagayoko 
Cameroon: 1-Boukar Alioum; 2-Bill Tchato, 3-Pierre Wome, 4-Rigobert Song, 5-Raymond Kalla, 8-Geremi, 12-Lauren, 17-Marc-Vivien Foe, 20-Salomon Olembe (21-Daniel Ngom Kome, 89), 9-Samuel Eto (18-Eric Djemba Djemba, 89), 11-Pius Ndiefi (19-Patrick Suffo, 83)

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