There was a dramatic climax in Group D!
After Wednesday's 1-1 draw, both Guinea and Mali finished joint second in the group, with identical records, and the draw that took place in Malabo yesterday afternoon determined that the National Elephants would advance to the knockout stage of the African Cup of Nations.
The National Elephants and Eagles drew 1-1 in all three of their group games in the tournament, and finished the group joint second, both on three points.
Guinea took the lead in Wednesday night's match when Kevin Constant scored a penalty in the 15th minute of the game. Mali levelled in the 47th minute, but neither side was able to score again in the second half, as the match finished in a 1-1 draw.
The drawing of lots was deferred until Thursday and Guinea are now the lucky ones who are progressing to the next stage of the tournament. There they will face Ghana, the winners in Group C, in the quarter-finals of the competition on Sunday.
Representatives from Guinea and Mali met up in a hotel in the capital to draw balls out of a bowl. Mali were represented by Boubacar Diarra, the President of Mali's FA. He went first and pulled out the fateful ball that meant that they are effectively dumped out of the competition. He was in tears! Hicham El Amrani, the president of CAF drew for Guinea.
This is the first time the drawing of lots has decided a team's qualification in the African Cup of Nations since Algeria's lucky draw in 1988, when the Desert Foxes advanced to the next stage and the Ivory Coast side was sent home.
At least Ivory Coast are now freed of the drama and are clear to progress to the knockout stage. They finished top of Group D, with their 1-0 victory over the Indomitable Lions, which was the only Group D game not to finish a 1-1 draw. They will play Algeria on Sunday. #Football