Last Updated: 01/02/12 8:02pm
Finally the Mali players can celebrate after realising they have gone through at the expense of Guinea who have drawn with Ghana. The Black Stars claim top spot in Group D, with the Eagles in second.
It's all over here and Mali have beaten Botswana 2-1. The players are eagerly awaiting news from the other tie that has just a few minutes left to play. With Ghana tied 1-1 with Guinea, Mali have progressed to the quarter-finals but the players here in Libreville are unaware of their fate.
Mali are struggling to get a hold of the ball here as the fourth official signals three minutes of added time.
Nervous moments in the Mali defence as Mongala tries to make a nuisance of himself and after what seems like an age, the Malian defence hoof the ball clear from under their own cross bar.
Mogakolodi Ngele is off, Dipsy Selolwane is on for Botswana as Jerome Ramatlhakwane is also replaced, by Onalethata Tshekiso.
Traore has two shots in the space of a couple of minutes, the first one is skewed horribly wide before hitting a weak shot on target from the edge of the box.
Every Botswana player is behind the ball as they attempt to stifle the Mali frontline, who buoyed by their goal look to be going in search of another.
Seydou Keita has renewed his side's hope of progressing with a super finish. The Barcelona man curls the ball into the top left-hand corner of the net after linking up with substitute Diabate, who just manages to poke the ball back to his teammate with Motlhabankwe unable to clear the ball while sitting on the deck.
Motlhabankwe will miss his side's next match, where ever that may be, after picking up a yellow card for time wasting.
Coulibaly smashes the ball against the crossbar after an incredible run following a link up with Dembele. The Substitute raced into the box before unleashing a bullet of a shot.
A real midfield battle has begun here in Libreville with both sides going in search of a second goal.
Dembele has restored parity from close range for Mali. A great cross from Traore from the left-hand side is headered on target by Maiga that is well saved by Marumo. But Dembele is first to react to smash the ball home from just outside the Botswana small box.
Mali are looking for an immediate response but as they push forward in numbers they are leaving holes at the back that Botswana can exploit.
Ngele powers the ball into the back of the net with his left foot after latching on to a great cross from the right-hand side from Moemedi Moatlhaping.
Botswana win an early free-kick that puts some pressure on the Mali defence, who are forced to concede corner. The Zebras look a lot more attack minded in the opening minutes.
That's it for the first half as the referee blows his whistle to send the players down the tunnel for their half-time break. It has been a much improved performance from Botswana, who are clearly playing for a win without considering qualification. Mali's progression is now under threat, however, with Guinea having equalised in the other match.
Abdou Traore finds some magic in his feet with a fantastic turn as he tries to open up the Botswana defence but to no avail before Drissa Diakite drives in a fierce cross that Marumo does well to palm away. The Zebras are showing great discipline in defence here.
Botswana are enjoying the ball at their feet for the first time in this match with Tshireletso causing problems for Mali's Oumar Sissoko after a poor backpass, but the keeper is quickest to the ball and can clear the danger.
With Ghana leading 1-0 in the other game through a truly astonishing strike from Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu, it is Mali and the Black Stars who go through at this stage.
Traore again with a wayward shot, this time from a free-kick from roughly 25 yards out. He's getting closer...
Bakaye Traore with a woeful effor to round off a super build up for Mali, although to be fair to the player, the ball did bobble horribly just as he hit his shot from the edge of the box. There must have been 30 passes on the edge of the Botswana box as the Eagles tried to find space in which to attack.
Maiga, who had been seeing a lot of the ball outwide for much of the match, gets his head to a deep cross but fails to keep the effort on target under pressure from the Bostwana defence.
Free-kick to the Zebras in a dangerous position for a foul by Cedric Kante on Jerome Ramatlhakwana. The ball hits the defensive wall but as it is worked back in to the box, Lemponye Tshireletso hits the side netting after a cheeky back heel by Mompati Thuma to set up the chance.
This is better from Botswana as they win their first free-kick and corner in quick succession but while the set-pieces come to nothing Tshepo Motlhabankwe has a great effort from distance that flies just over the Mali goal.
Super skills from the left winger Modibo Maiga to turn his defender inside out but his cross is overhit, much to the relief of the Botswana defence.
Botswana have everyman behind the ball as Mali play the ball around confidently. The Eagles are dominating this one but are yet to have a real chance at opening the scoring.
Marumo is forced to hastily align a defensive wall following the awarding of another set-piece. Botswana are struggled to contain Mali in the opening exchanges. The wall does its job though and the Zebras can clear their lines.
Botswana put under pressure early on following a deep free-kick from Seydou Keita but Modiri Marumo is able to collect with relative ease after a looping set-piece.
While Botswana could effectively qualify for the last eight they will need an incredible scoreline to do just that...
Botswana immediately win possession and an early free-kick. They will be hoping to put to bed the memories of that 6-1 defeat firmly behind them with a positive performance tonight.
The players have lined up on the pitch for the national anthems with kick-off now only moments away.
Botswana have made four changes to the side that lost 6-1 to Guinea with Moemedi Moatlhaping, Boitulemo Mafako, Mogakolodi Ngele and Lemponye Tshireletso replacing Ofentse Nato, Pontsho Moloi, Phenyo Mongala and Dipsy Selolwane.
Mali have made three changes with goalkeeper Oumar Sissoko, Garra Dembele and Samba Sow all included in the starting line up while Soumalia Diakite, Samba Diakite and Tidiane Chieck Diabate are benched.
Mali: 01- Oumar Sissoko, 03- Adama Tamboura, 05- Cedric Kante (capt), 07- A. Traore, 10- Modibo Maiga, 11- Garra Dembele 12- Seydou Keita, 14- D. Diakite, 15- B. Traore, 04- Ousmane Berthe 18- Samba Sow.
Botswana: 16-Modiri Marumo; 2-Ndiyapo Letsholathebe, 4-Mmusa Ohilwe, 5-Mompati Thuma, 22- Tshepo Motlhabankwe; 18-Mogogi Gabonamong, 13- Boitulemo Mafako, 9-Jerome Ramatlhakwana 10- Moemedi Moatlhaping 19- Mogakolodi Ngele, 21- Lemponye Tshireletso.
Victory for Alain Giresse's men over the Zebras, who are all but out of the running after two defeats, may well be in vain if Guinea upset the more fancied Ghana in the other Group D clash.
Mali have it all to do to qualify for the African Cup of Nations quarter-finals in their final group clash in Libreville this evening.