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HomeNewsNamibia hold Mali to book maiden AFCON knockout qualification

Namibia hold Mali to book maiden AFCON knockout qualification

Namibia booked a first appearance in the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations by holding a Mali side who topped Group E by virtue of the point.

The draw puts Namibia, who came closest to scoring when Prins Tjiueza hit the post, through as one of the group stage’s four best third-placed teams.

The Brave Warriors will take on Group D winners Angola in the first knockout round while Mali face Burkina Faso.

The result kept host nation Ivory Coast sweating over their progression hopes.

The Elephants, who finished third in Group A, are left relying on results in Group F later on Wednesday to determine whether they will qualify or face an embarrassing early exit.

Mali negotiated the group stage unbeaten, with South Africa’s 0-0 draw with Tunisia in the group’s other final game ensuring the Eagles claimed top spot.

Namibia, meanwhile, survived a late onslaught from the West Africans to emulate fellow minnows Mauritania’s achievement of reaching the knockout stages for the first time.

Their game with neighbouring Angola will kick off the last 16 on Saturday in Bouake while Mali meet Burkina Faso in Korhogo on Tuesday (both matches 17:00 GMT).