WAFU: Diarra powers Mali to semis as Nigeria extend perfect run

Mali edge past Senegal to WAFU Women's Cup semi-finals
Mali edge past Senegal to WAFU Women's Cup semi-finals

Agueicha Diarra starred as Mali overpowered Senegal 1–0 to grab the final WAFU Women’s Cup semi-final slot on Monday.

With Nigeria having clinched the first semi-final slot in Group B with a game in hand, all eyes were on the Mali-Senegal tie.

The two dark horses of the tournament were tied on three points coming into the Monday night last Group B match.

The clash proved a feisty affair with both sides struggling to maintain possession in a frenetic opening.

Mali finally grabbed the winner at the stroke of half-time through Agueicha Diarra, later named Player of the Match.

The Eagles knock out Senegal, a favourite to advance prior to Mali replacing Benin after the latter’s withdrawal.

Earlier, Nigeria strolled to a 3–1 victory over Togo to extend their perfect run.

The comfortable win was despite newly-appointed Swedish coach Thomas Dennerby retaining only three players from the lineup that had stormed past Senegal.

Goals from Anam Imo, Chinaza Uchendu and Chioma Wogu saw Super Falcons race to a 3–0 lead.

But Woedikou Afi pulled one back from the spot to send Togo home with their first goal of the tournament as Nigeria conceded for the first time.

Group A winners Ivory Coast will now take on underdogs Mali in the first semi-final on Thursday 22 February.

Group B winners Nigeria will then faceoff with bitter rivals Ghana in the second semi-final.

The final of the first ever WAFU Women’s Cup will be played on Saturday 24 February.

Final Group B Ranking

1- Nigeria: 9pts

2- Mali: 6pts

3- Senegal: 3pts

4- Niger: 0pt

Semi-finals (22 Feb)

16h00: Ivory Coast v Mali

19h30: Nigeria v Ghana


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