Last Updated: 08/02/12 8:54pm
Ivory Coast are through to the 2012 AFCON final! Only Zambia now stand between them and the trophy. It's been a straight forward victory tonight and could've easily been 2 or 3 nil. Well deserved victory for the Elephants.
There are some seriously tired legs out there now. Ivory Coast can't wait to hear the final whistle. Only two minutes left for Mali.
Mali are still under pressure and almost concede a second as a free-kick is poorly cleared. The Eagles are getting desperate now as they shoot from range after a corner.
The Elephants are pushing for a second goal as Drogba powers into the Mali area before shooting from a tight angle, but his shot is blocked. Another chance falls for the striker from a corner but he can't direct his header.
Promising play from Mali as they increase the tempo and attack down the right before Mustapha Yatabare smashes a shot over the bar.
Kalou has a great chance as he breaks into the area but his shot is straight at the keeper who pushes it over the bar. Mali don't look like scoring to be honest.
The game has slowed down noticebly now. Ivory Coast will be keen to see this turn into a battle of attrition. They seem content with their lead.
Keita is desperate to make something happen for Mali as he attempts two ambitious shots from long range. However, neither of them give Ivory Coast 'keeper Boubacar Barry any troubles. The Elephants are in control of proceedings.
Corner for Mali but it is cleared. The Eagles attack again as they push down the right but they can't find the final delivery. Yaya counters and appeals for a foul as he loses control of the ball, but the referee waves play on.
Ivory Coast pick up where they left off as they take control of the possession. Yaya Toure drives toward the byline and sends the ball back toward Drogba with an overhead kick, but a timely deflection snuffs out the danger.
Ivory Coast have been in the ascendancy for most of the first half and will be relieved to have taken the lead just before the break.
It was inevitable really. Gervinho collects on the halfway line and turns on the afterburners as he surges down the left wing before cutting inside and placing his shot in the far bottom corner of Diakite's goal.
The game is a bit untidy for the moment. A couple of passes are going astray. However, Drogba is still tormenting the Mali defenders. Kalou is also threatening with crosses from the right.
A magnificent long-ball is chested down by Drogba before he sends his shot wide of the target. A good chance squandered there. Mali counter with an attack down the left, but it's snuffed out.
Another poor set-piece from Mali is cleared by the Ivorians. The game has slowed down somewhat after the blistering start to the game. Mali seem to be finding their feet as they enjoy some possession.
First real chance for Mali as Cheick Tidiane Diabate powers into the Ivory Coast area. At the other end of the pitch, Kalou drives at the heart of the Mali defence but loses his balance and his shot goes wide.
Again Ivory Coast hit the post! Kalou feeds Toure who smashes it against the near post from eight yards out. Siaka Tiene then crosses for Gervinho from the left, but he can't direct the header.
Gervinho receives treatment after a collision with Berthe. Ivory Coast are quite comfortable at the moment. Keita has tried to be positive for Mali but hasn't created any clear-cut chances.
Big chance for Ivory Coast! A free-kick from the right finds Drogba, who heads against the woodwork. A long range free-kick from the Chelsea striker then forces Soumbeyla Diakite into a diving save. Mali are on the back foot.
First yellow card for Ousmane Berthe after a poor challenge on Didier Drogba. Seydou Keita is booked as well in the aftermath.
Drissa Diakite receiving treatment in the second minute already after a collision with Cheick Tiote. No harm done though. Kalou and Gervinho link up on the right wing as the Ivorians enjoy some early possession. A free-kick from Yaya Toure is cleared with ease. The Elephants have already stamped their authority on this game.
Mali: 16-Soumaila Diakite; 14-Drissa Diakite, 5-Cedric Kante (c), 4-Ousmane Berthe, 3-Adama Tamboura; 15-Bakaye Traore, 18-Samba Sow, 20-Samba Diakite, 12-Seydou Keita; 6-Mustapha Yatabare, 9-Cheick Tidiane Diabate
Ivory Coast: 1-Boubacar Barry; 17-Siaka Tiene, 4-Kolo Toure, 22-Souleyman Bamba, 5-Didier Zokora; 9-Cheik Tiote, 6-Jean-Jacques Gosso Gosso, 19-Yaya Toure, 10-Gervinho; 8-Salomon Kalou 11-Didier Drogba (c)
If you fancy a wager, our friends at Sky Bet have priced Mali as 17/2 underdogs to upset the Ivorians, who are 2/5 to progress.
John Carolan: Mali lucky to get through group and qtr finals. This is where they meet their match. Ivory Coast beat Mali 3-0 in the last ANC and I fancy the same.
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The Eagles have had a tougher time of securing their semi-final spot and only qualified for the first knockout round on the final day of Group D encounters after beating debutants Botswana while Ghana held Guinea.
The Elephants won all three of their Group B matches before booking their place in the semi-finals with a comfortable 3-0 victory over high flying co-hosts Equatorial Guinea in the last eight at the weekend.