World Cup 2022: 10-man Mali gift Tunisia victory

Mali's Moussa Sissako in action for Belgian club Standard Liege
Mali's Moussa Sissako scored an own goal and was sent off as his side lost 1-0 to Tunisia

Tunisia were gifted a 1-0 win in the first leg of their 2022 World Cup play-off by hosts Mali as 21-year Moussa Sissako suffered a day to forget in Bamako.

Winning only his fourth cap, the unfortunate defender scored the only goal of the game as he unwittingly found his own net from outside the box in the 36th minute.

Things got worse for Sissako just four minutes later when he was shown a straight red card for a foul on the edge of the area, so also ruling him out of Tuesday's second leg.

Despite playing the whole of the second-half with ten men, Mali - seeking a first World Cup appearance - created the better chances but could not find their way past a stubborn Tunisian defence.

Tunisia started the game strongly and put pressure on the hosts early on, with the Eagles needing more than twenty minutes to find their pace and start causing the Carthage Eagles any real threat.

Their rhythm was shattered when Sissako, who plays in Belgium for Standard Liege, received the ball on the edge of the area under no pressure and managed to make his back pass too strong and too wide of goalkeeper Ibrahim Mounkoro.

He buried his heads in his hands but matters swiftly deteriorated when Sissako was sent off four minutes later as he raced after Saifeddine Jaziri and clumsily clipped him from behind with the referee deciding a goal scoring opportunity had been denied.

Despite being a man down, a resolute Mali created by far the better chances after the break but the Tunisian defence hung on for a crucial away win.

It was revenge for Tunisia who lost 1-0 to Mali at the recent Africa Cup of Nations in controversial circumstances, when Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe signalled for full-time on 85 minutes, before then ending the match before the clock showed 90 minutes.

Aiming for a second consecutive appearance the World Cup, Tunisia will host Mali, who will be without the suspended Sissako for the game in Rades, in the return leg on Tuesday.

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Algeria64202542114
2Burkina Faso6330124812
3Niger62131317-47
4Djibouti6006429-250

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Tunisia6411112913
2Equatorial Guinea632165111
3Zambia621389-17
4Mauritania6024211-92

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Nigeria641193613
2Cape Verde632186211
3Liberia620458-36
4Central African Republic611449-54

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Cameroon6501123915
2Ivory Coast6411103713
3Mozambique611428-64
4Malawi6105212-103

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Mali65101101116
2Uganda62313219
3Kenya613249-56
4Rwanda601529-71

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Egypt6420104614
2Gabon621378-17
3Libya621347-37
4Angola612368-25

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ghana641173413
2South Africa641162413
3Ethiopia612347-35
4Zimbabwe602427-52

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Senegal65101541116
2Togo622256-18
3Namibia6123510-55
4Congo6033510-53

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Morocco66002011918
2Guinea-Bissau6132511-66
3Guinea6042511-64
4Sudan6033512-73

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1DR Congo632193611
2Benin631254110
3Tanzania622268-28
4Madagascar611449-54
View full World Cup Qualifying - African tables

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