Diabate double earns Mali third
Vorsah off as Ghana finish the tournament on a low note
Last Updated: February 11, 2012 10:39pm
Cheick Diabate: Scored twice as Mali beat Ghana 2-0 to claim third spot at the Africa Cup of Nations
Mali secured third spot at the Africa Cup of Nations after Cheick Diabate scored a goal in each half to claim a 2-0 victory over 10-man Ghana.
Bordeaux midfielder Diabate's double provided Mali with their best finish at the tournament for 40 years as Ghana were hindered by Isaac Vorsah's red card.
Mali had lost their previous three third-place play-offs but, after Garra Dembele shot narrowly wide, Diabate gave them a lead thanks to his poacher's instinct.
Ghana goalkeeper Adam Larsen failed to hold onto Bakaye Traore's low shot and Diabate was on hand to stab home the loose ball.
Ghana threatened only once before the break to pull the goal back, but Jordan Ayew's 20-yard effort was comfortably held by Oumar Sissoko.
Ghana thought they had levelled eight minutes after the interval when Sulley Muntari lashed in a knock-down but he was just caught offside.
The four-time champions' hopes were then dealt a major blow when Vorsah was needlessly booked for the second time when he kicked out at Samba Diakite.
Mali always looked the likely winners thereafter and, while Jordan Ayew curled another effort from the edge of the area just wide, Diabate made the game safe when he prodded in Adama Tamboura's low pass across the six-yard box.
Africa Cup of Nations Group A
Africa Cup of Nations Group B
Africa Cup of Nations Group C
Africa Cup of Nations Group D