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African Nations Cup becomes a lottery as Mali and Guinea draw

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Mali forward Mustapha Yatabare looks to control the ball ahead of Guinea's Fode Camara during their African Cup of Nations clash in Mongomo. Photo: KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images

Mali forward Mustapha Yatabare looks to control the ball ahead of Guinea's Fode Camara during their African Cup of Nations clash in Mongomo. Photo: KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Mali forward Mustapha Yatabare looks to control the ball ahead of Guinea's Fode Camara during their African Cup of Nations clash in Mongomo. Photo: KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images

Mali and Guinea face a long night as they await a rare drawing of lots to decide which team goes through to the African Nations Cup quarter-finals.

A 1-1 draw between the teams in Mongomo yesterday left them tied in second place in Group D behind the Ivory Coast, who finished top after beating Cameroon 1-0 in Malabo.

Max Gradel's first-half goal means the Ivorians will take on Algeria in the last eight in Malabo on Sunday. This afternoon's draw will decide who plays Group C winners Ghana.

Only twice before has the tournament needed a draw to separate teams, in 1972 and 1988.

Mali captain Seydou Keita had a penalty saved as both teams played out a third successive 1-1 draw and finished level on points, goal difference and goals scored in second place in the standings.

Irish Independent