Mali beat Burkina Faso 2-1 to secure their spot in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals.
Early in both halves, Mali netted through an Edmond Tapsoba own goal and Lassine Sinayoko’s strike before Bertrand Traore’s penalty cut into the deficit and a late leveller was disallowed by the offside flag.
Mali were without Tottenham’s Yves Bissouma due to a reported injury yet returning midfielder Amadou Haidara was central to their opener inside the first three minutes.
A fine cross from the right met the RB Leipzig man’s perfectly timed run and his header cannoned off the post before being spooned in by Burkina Faso’s main man, Bayer Leverkusen defender Tapsoba.
That set the Eagles on their way after coming through the groups with AFCON’s joint-best defensive record.
Mali looked the more likely to score as they tested Herve Koffi time and again in the Stallions’ goal.
Burkina Faso made two changes at the break yet saw their gameplan collapse within minutes of the restart as a failed offside trap allowed Sanayoko to stroll in behind and double Mali’s lead.
However, the Stallions got back into the game when VAR spotted a handball from Kiki Kouyate in the box and Traore buried his spot-kick to hand Burkina Faso hope for the final half hour.
Issoufou Dayo headed home what he thought was a 90th-minute equaliser, until it was quickly chalked off by the offside flag as Mali saw out the tie to set up a clash with host nation Ivory Coast.