AWCON hosts Ghana defeated by Mali

Janet Egyir of Ghana challenged by Bassira Toure of Mali Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Ghana have been made to wait until their final group game to book their spot in the Africa Women Cup of Nations semi-final after being defeated 2-1 by Mali in Accra on Tuesday.

Bassira Toure scored both goals for Mali either side of a Ghana penalty by Elizabeth Addo. Defeat leaves Ghana third in Group A on three points after two matches, level with Mali.

Group-leaders Cameroon, also on three points, face Algeria at the Accra Sports Stadium later on Tuesday.

A win would have all but secured Ghana's passage into the last four and taken them a step closer to a place at the 2019 World Cup, but Mali defended superbly, countered effectively and made the most of their opportunities to stun the Black Queens.

Ghana, with two changes from the opening day win over Algeria, started well, but most of the chances were restricted to long-range efforts which Mali handled well.

Against the run of play, and after at least two failed Ghana claims for a penalty, Mali struck in the 24th minute when Ghana stopper Patricia Mantey brought down Bassira Toure in the box and the 28-year-old duly dusted herself off to convert the resulting penalty.

Ghana continued to boss the possession, but didn't truly test Mali goalkeeper Adoudou Konate until the start of the second half, when she denied Sherifatu Sumaila's right-footed effort after a magnificent solo run from the midfielder. Gladys Amfobea's effort was also deflected away from goal after she met a superb cross from Portia Boayke.

The Black Queens finally drew level in the 71st minute when substitute Addo went down in the box and then, replicating Toure's earlier feat, promptly stepped up to equalise from the spot.

However, Mali restored their lead four minutes later when Mantey failed to deal with a routine free kick and spilled the ball into Toure's path. The forward made no mistake from three yards

Mali were back in front after only three minutes when Ghana goalkeeper Patricia Mantey failed to deal with a routine free kick and spilled the ball, allowing Bassira to pounce and tap it in from three yards to put the Malians back in front.