Kanoute downs brave Benin

الإثنين، 21 يناير 2008 - 23:47

كتب : Hatem Maher

Kanoute: Africa's best player

Frederic Kanoute's penalty early in the second-half earned Mali a 1-0 victory over brave Benin in the African Cup of Nations Group B game on Monday.

The victory put Mali level with Ivory Coast on three points after the Elephants edged past Nigeria 1-0 earlier in the day.

Sevilla playmaker Seydou Keita was the architect of Mali's attacking attempts during the first-half.

In the 12th minute, Kanoute's shot was blocked by a defender and the ball slipped to Keita, whose powerful drive went just wide.

Benin responded one minute later when a mis-timed jump by Mali keeper Mahamadou Sidibe allowed Oumar Tchomogo to rise unmarked at the far post but his free header missed the target.

Mali were awarded a deserved penalty two minutes after the interval.

Kanoute's shot was parried by Benin keeper into the path of Dramane Traore, who went down under a challenge from Alain Gaspoz while attempting to poke home.

Sevilla top scorer Kanoute stepped-up and sent the keeper the wrong way to break Benin's resistance.

Benin could have secured a valuable equalizer seven minutes from time but Sidibe was on alert to block two successive shots from Stephane Sessegnon and Abou Maiga.

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