20 Jun 2015

Mali win 3rd place World Cup playoff

4:23 pm on 20 June 2015

Mali have beaten 10-man Senegal 3-1 in the third place playoff at the Under-20 men's football World Cup in Auckland.

Senegal goal keeper Ibrahima Sy in action

Senegal goal keeper Ibrahima Sy in action Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The game turned on the sending-off of Senegal defender Moussa Ba for a second yellow card halfway through the game when it was scoreless.

Senegal pushed on early in the second half, however, and scored the opening goal right on 63 minutes through striker Ibrahima Wadji.

But Mali equalised through striker Adama Traore on 74 minutes with a sublime free kick from just outside the area.

Both teams conceded and stopped a penalty in a frantic period starting just a minute later, first with a spot kick to Mali after a player was brought down in the area.

The Senegal goalkeeper Ibrahima Sy, the hero of a penalty shootout win over Ukraine earlier in the tournament, stopped the shot.

Traore grabbed his second with a long range strike to put Mali 2-1 up in the 83rd minute, again from the edge of the area but this time in open play, with keeper Sy unsighted.

Then came a truly odd refereeing decision as a bicycle kick two minutes later was blocked in Mali's box, and bizarrely Senegal were awarded a penalty when it looked like a free kick should have gone to Mali for dangerous play.

Once again the keeper saved the resulting spot kick, Djigui Diarra with the honours.

Weight of numbers and possession ultimately told with a third Mali goal right on 90 minutes, a well-worked free kick from just outside the area was passed into the box for Mali midfielder Diadie Samassekou to wrap up the 3-1 victory.