Last Updated: 24/01/12 8:57pm
The referee has blown his whistle to signal the end of this match. Mali claim all three points and Guinea are distraught after giving their all but failing to at least claim a deserved draw. Mali move level on points with group favourites Ghana who beat Botswana earlier in the day.
Feindouno forces a corner with a stinging drive that is tipped over by Diakite. Mali can clear their lines. It is surely all over for Guinea.
There will be four minutes of added time at the end of this encounter. Mali are hanging on by the skin of their teeth with Traore and co. refusing to give up.
Balde is furious with himself as he fails to get his head to an inch-perfect Traore corner. Time running out for Guinea.
Guinea just can't seem to find the breakthrough they are so desperately seeking but it is not for a lack of trying as their wave after wave of attacks continue to test a well organised Mali defence.
Another free-kick to Guinea after some super interplay involving Traore before he is brought down. The kick is well hit by the player but Diakite has his shot covered all the way.
Great work down the left by Camara who drives a low cross in to the box but there is no one in the box to receive his gift and Mali are relieved to be able to clear their lines.
Feindouno tries his luck again, this time from open play as the Malian defence seemed to open up for his but he can only smash his effort into the stands.
Feindouno hits the resultant free-kick goalward but the wall does its job and Mali can breath a sigh of relief that their one goal lead is safe.
Barry comes agonisingly close to grabbing an equaliser after so nearly getting his head to a whipped in Camara cross from the left hand side.
Play has been halted as Cheick Diabate receives treatment for a hefty challenge from the imposing Dianbobo Balde.
Abdou Traore attempts to release Bakaye Traore through on goal but his long ball forward is over hit and goes out of play before the striker can reach the ball. There has been no let up from Guinea who are searching for an equaliser.
Samba Diakite attempts to drag his side out of defence with a mazy run but is upended and Mali can relieve some of the pressure with a punted free-kick upfield.
Guinea come out of the blocks on the attack and Diakite is forced to make two quick early saves, albeit quite comfortably.
An exciting first half has come to an end and Mali will be satisfied to go into the break one goal to the good. But Guinea are by no means out of this one and certainly look dangerous on attack.
Kamil Zayatte is next to test his luck with a driven shot goalward but Keita gets his body in front of the ball and concedes a corner - which comes to nothing.
The goal has spurred Guinea to grab a goal of their own and Mali can't get out of their half currently. Samba Diakite is forced to head clear virtually under his own goal under pressure from Dianbobo Balde following a superbly hit Traore free-kick.
Super defending from Mali under pressure from Lass again whose pace is causing them all sorts of problems. The winger then gets his head to the resultant corner but can't direct the ball goalward.
Diakite maintains his side's slender lead with a fantastic save from the wily Bangoura, who are being fed from the left hand side cuts inside his man and unleashes a stinging shot.
After some super work down the right hand side, the ball finally breaks to Traore who finds the top of the net via a massive deflection off of Ibrahima Diallo.
Lass is looking dangerous on the right wing for Guinea but after a storming run down the flank he can only smash his shot into the side netting.
Ismael Bangoura gets a header on target and forces Diakite into another fine save, this time at full stretch.
The resultant kick is well placed in the Syli national 18-yard area but Ibrahima Traore is well placed to make the defensive header.
Free-kick to Mail in a dangerous position out wide on the left of the Guinea goal after a foul on Keita by Alhassane Bangoura.
After a frenetic start, the pace has slowed somewhat. But after conceding their first corner, Mali's Adama Tamboura is forced to head clear a dangerous in-swinging ball.
Mali are looking comfortable in possession as they look to probe their opponents for weaknesses with Guinea preferring to get the ball upfield quicker and put pressure on the Les Aigles backline.
Guinea, however, go straight up the other end and Diabate forces a diving save out of Malian stopper Soumaila Diakite.
For those who fancy a wager, Mali are 6/4 to claim all three points against Guinea according to our friends at Sky Bet.
With four-time champions Ghana expected to top Group D - they have just beaten Botswana 1-0 in their first tie, this match is vitally important for both sides.
The last time these two sides met was in a 2004 Nations Cup quarter-final in Tunisia where the Malians secured a narrow 2-1 win but Guinea have been more successful than their larger neighbours in recent AFCON competitions, after reaching the quarter-finals in 2006 and 2008, compared to Mali who failed to emerge from the group stages at the same tournaments.
Guinea have had no such problems and can call upon winger Pascal Feindouno and defender Bobo Balde for their opening tie.
Bordeaux striker Cheick Tidiane Diabate has, meanwhile, recovered from a hamstring injury and leads their attack.
Mali coach Alain Giresse has named a weakened side for tonight with a number of players having pulled up with injuries prior to kick-off but captain Seydou Keita is included despite injuring his knee.