Last Updated: 11/02/12 8:54pm
An the referee calls time on the third place play off tussle with Eagles turning around their previous loss to the Black Stars, and their first victory over Ghana since 1975. Thanks for joining us and don't forget to follow our coverage Sunday's final between Zamibia and Ivory Coast!
Four minutes of additional time have been added on, but for the Black Stars the final whistle can't come soon enough as they look a dejected and frustrated lot. Mali, meanwhile, will savour every minute of what's left of a memorable night and AFCON tournament.
Souleymane Keita and Mustapha Yatabare make their way on to the park in place Sow and Dembele respectively, with the game pretty much stitched up for the Eagles and the Ghanaians' AFCON tournament set to end in added disappointment.
GOAL! MALI! DIABATE! It's two for Diabate as the Eagles striker slides on to a pass in to box from Adama Tamboura and pops the ball past Kwararesy. Tamboura blazed his way down the left on the counterattack in what was always going to be the danger for Ghana pushing upfield.
Seydou Keita with an ambitious left-footed curling free-kick from some way out on the right, the Barcelona midfielder having to watch his ball sail well wide of his intended target.
Jonathan Mensah tries to curl his shot from outside the box past Sissoko, but the luck's just not on Ghana's side right now. Moments earlier and Andre Ayew done well to keep the ball in play, controlling the ball after it rebounded off the right corner flag and allowing the Marseille ace to tear away from his marker to look to put the ball in the box for a team-mate.
Masahudu Alhassan becomes Ghana's second substitution, coming on for Asamoah down the left flank. Whether he can change his side's fortunes seems unlikely at this present moment.
The Black Stars efforts to avoid defeat to the Eagles as taken a knock with Vorsah receiving his marching orders, picking up his second yellow card of the match for a boot to the midriff of Diakete after the defender collapse in a failed tackle on the big Mali forward.
Diabate, playing at the moment as an almost lone striker for the Eagles, tries to outmuscle his marker and break out down the right flank after the ball is hacked upfield. But the Mali forward is bundled off the ball and Ghana continue to press in a bid to level the score.
Bakaye Traore goes into the book for a harsh challenge and gives away a free-kick in another good area for the Black Stars, but the delivery into the box is poor and the ball is cleared and the potential danger averted.
Muntari smashes the ball into the back of the net as the Black Stars get ready to celebrate their equalising goal. But the Ghanaian substitute is adjudged to have been in an offside position as he leapt onto a header from a team-mate in the box. Previously, a nicely whipped in corner kick from Andre Ayew had Sissoko having to guard his left post with purpose.
The game's got a bit scrappy at the moment with both teams giving away silly free-kicks in decent attacking areas, but at the same time both goalkeepers have yet to be called into action from the set-pieces.
Mali get the second stanza underway and Stevanovic's has already made a change to his line-up with Sulley Muntari replacing Mohammed Abu. Isaac Vorsah also starts the second half on bad note with a booking for a late tackle.
As the first 45 minutes draws to a close, Mali will feel rather satisfied with their performance with them making the most of their scrapes of possession. Ghana, meanwhile, will feel more than a little aggrieved at their failure to notch up at least one goal with their lion's share of the ball. Maybe the fact they lost on making the final as sapped them of their lust for the cutting edge up front.
Ghana are not down and out and are still committing men forward as Jordan Ayew lets rip from outside the box on a cutback from the right, the youngster's shot on target but no trouble for Sissoko. Kwadwo Asamoah then with a break down the left, followed up by a decent ball into the area for Andre Ayew. But the Eagles' shot-stopper bravely gets down low to smother the dangerous pass.
In their overeagerness to attack from inside their own half, the black Stars give the ball away in the tackle and Diakete capitalises on the stolen ball. The Eagles wideman burst down the right flank and cuts inside to drift into the box. But his shot at the right post is stopped by an alert Kwarasey, which had it beaten him would've definitely made it 2-0 for Mali.
The game has opened up a little bit more now that the one of the teams' defence has been breached, with Mali starting to play the ball forward with more confidence. Goalscorer Diabete seems to be the target man out on the left, although the Eagles ace needs to watch his offside line.
Jordan Ayew is the first player into the referee's book for a silly challenge. The game has thankfully lacked any niggle and let's hope to see no more unnecessary tackles or hits as the game continues.
GOAL! MALI! DIABATE! A clever corner from the right passed out back to Diakete sees the him unleash a low skidding shot through a sea of bodies in the box that has Kwarasey just about stopping, but Cheick Diabate wraps a leg around the rebound and nets the opener.
With some neat interplay and the odd one-two between frontmen, the Black Stars are one sharp pass from cutting the Eagles defence wide open as the game is continued to be played inside Mali's half of the pitch. But the Eagles almost spring surprise of their own with the ball played forward to Dembele who powers his way into the box. But Kwarasey risks injury and gets low to gather the ball at the striker's feet.
Lee Addy tries his luck from range, but his tame effort lacks the heat to really test Oumar Sissoko who deals with the shot with ease. Ghana have dominated possession for most of the early stages, but are struggling to deliver a truly dangerous strike on goal.
The Black Stars fail to maximize on the advantage of several free-kicks in attacking positions, the Eagles defence soaring higher in the air and clearing the danger of the ball into the box on most occasions. Adam Larsen Kwarasey, meanwhile, has had to keep his wits about in the Ghanaian goal as the goalkeeper was almost caught out with a dipping shot onto his crossbar.
Garra Dembele takes a good shot from the right, although it sails wide of goal, after an impressive break down the right from Samba Diakete who cut the ball back nicely for his team-mate. Ghana, however, had spent the earlier minutes of the exchange inside the Eagles half with Andre Ayew looking enterprising out wide.
Ghana get the first half underway and with nothing but wounded pride to play for in the match, both sides will hopefully let loose and treat the supporters to some free-flowing attacking football.
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Mali are rated at 3/1 to beat Ghana today and finish in third spot according to our friends at Sky Bet, while the Black Stars are 10/11 to come out victorious.
In team news, the Black Stars are likely to make a number of changes, with John Boye and Derek Boateng suspended and Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu and John Mensah injured. Ghana coach Goran Stevanovic is also likely to give an opportunity to squad members who have not yet played. Eagles coach Alain Giresse may also choose to field some peripheral players.
Greetings and welcome to Nuevo Estadio de Malabo for the AFCON third place play off clash between Ghana and Mali! The Eagles, who exceeded expectations to reach the last-four, were ousted 1-0 by Ivory Coast in midweek. The Black Stars, pre-tournament favourites, were shocked 1-0 by Zambia in their respective semi-final. It will also be the second time the teams meet each other in the competition after Ghana finished top of group D while Mali finished as runners-up, the Ghanaians 2-0 victors in their previous encounter.