Africa Cup of Nations: South Africa 0-0 Tunisia, Namibia 0-0 Mali – live | Africa Cup of Nations 2023

Key events

Full-time: South Africa 0-0 Tunisia

Group E is complete! Here is how is stands:

1. Mali – 5pts

2. South Africa – 4pts

3. Namibia – 4pts

4. Tunisia – 2pts

Bafana Bafana finish in second because their superior goal difference but the three top teams will advance.

The Carthage Eagles, the 2004 champions, are heading home.

South Africa 0-0 Tunisia: Tunisia have a final corner … and the header is well off target. Their last chance is very anticlimactic.

Full-time: Namibia 0-0 Mali

Namibia await for the other game to finish but both these teams are 99% through.

Namibia 0-0 Mali: Two of the four minutes of added time gone. This will be such a historic night for Namibia if they can manage to hold on. Remember, with four points they can be one of the third placed teams that advance to the last 16.

South Africa 0-0 Tunisia: Five minutes added on. The referee could add 5000 minutes and I don’t think anyone wearing a red shirt would score.

“Five minutes of TORTURE,” exclaims the commentator, who is cheering for South Africa. I am not necessarily cheering for South Africa but I am inclined to agree, mostly because the football has been shocking.

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South Africa 0-0 Tunisia: Jouini gets the ball on a platter and he is one on one against South Africa’s Williams but he cannot head the ball down on target.

Namibia 0-0 Mali: Namibia are minutes away from getting into the group stages for the first time ever. Traore of Mali hits a freekick straight into the wall.

All the Afcon magic has seemingly been used up. To be frank, both these games have been pretty boring, a first for the tournament. Play has stopped in both games due to fouls.

South Africa 0-0 Tunisia: Mokoena has a go from distance after a South Africa counter attack and it is just wide. They come again and win a corner. Zwane is called to be subbed off and he tries to go before the corner (which he is supposed to) but Laïdouni body checks him and a scuffle begins. Tunisia, who think South Africa are wasting time, continue to waste time. No cards given and no goal from the corner is all you need to know.

Namibia 0-0 Mali: A great save from Kazapua, who jumps up and catches the ball firmly with two hands after a cross/shot from Mali. And how about that keeper kit though? The most fashion-forward top of the tournament, I reckon.

South Africa 0-0 Tunisia: Abdi receives the ball in a dangerous area but Mobbie flies in and makes the challenge.

South Africa 0-0 Tunisia: After a triple sub, Tunisia are looking a little bit more forward thinking. Took them long enough. It’s not like we’re in the final 20 minutes and they need a goal or anything. Rafia, Achouri and Jaziri off for Ltaief, Sliti and Jouini.

Namibia 0-0 Mali: Bissouma takes a free-kick and goes straight for goal. It’s well off target.

Namibia 0-0 Mali: More subs from Mali. They clearly have little faith that anyone in this group is going to score a goal. Dieng and Diarra off for Camara and Dante.

South Africa 0-0 Tunisia: A more attacking sub for South Africa now as Maseko comes on for Morena. The sub scored in his country’s 4-0 win against Namibia.

Namibia 0-0 Mali: Mali now spring forward and Sissoko’s shot is deflected into row Z.

There is a paper with instructions making its way around the Mali bench. I am sure we’ll see it on the pitch soon. Will it have the magic formula that will lead to a goal?

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Namibia 0-0 Mali: Namibia are generating some chances. Hotto, with his back to goal, lays it off to Katua, whose spinning shot goes the wrong way off the post.

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South Africa 0-0 Tunisia: Here is a big substitution. Ben Slimane comes off for Youssef Msakni. The forward is a Tunisian legend and he makes his 100th appearance for his country. Let’s see if he can be a part of a fairytale story.

South Africa 0-0 Tunisia: So close yet so poor in the final third! Ben Slimane does so well to speed past his defender and get in a dangerous are in the box. He lays off a cross into acres of space but not a single red shirt is there! Where are the Tunisian players?! Do they not want to win this? It seems like it.

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Namibia 0-0 Mali: This is a strange one. Éric Chelle has opted to hook both his strikers. Sinayoko and Niakate off for Sissoko and Doumbia. Would assume that the Mali camp are simply looking to preserve legs for the knockouts.

Kári Tulinius himself has got in touch:

It took me a mortifyingly long time to get Bob’s pun on ‘maali’, the Finnish word for ‘goal’, so out of embarrassment I’ll get behind Mali. Which is handy, since the team I usually support at AFCON, namely Ghana, is out. Go Eagles!

Even I got the joke, Kári! In all seriousness, Mali is a good pick. They seem to be preserving energy today but they have played some great football so far. They are also six time Afcon semi-finalists.

South Africa 0-0 Tunisia: A long ball over the top for Tunisia but it is an easy collect for Williams.

South Africa 0-0 Tunisia: A half-time sub saw Mobbie come on for Mudau. Not a major change of tactics which I think really shows that Bafana Bafana are happy to play out a draw.

Second-half: South Africa 0-0 Tunisia and Namibia 0-0 Mali

We’re back underway at both stadiums.

There was a delay in kick-off in the South Africa v Tunisia game because they wanted both games to start at the exact same time.

As it stands, Mali win Group E and South Africa and Namibia would also progress.

Half-time entertainment: In today’s The Knowledge, test your … knowledge.

Which national football squads have players from the most different leagues? Plus: which goalkeepers have been good managers, strike duos sharing exactly the same birthday and more

We have yet to see a match end 0-0 at this Afcon. That streak might break today if neither of these four teams find their shooting boots.

Some emails have come in. Not much to comment on the matches themselves but clearly some jokesters amongst my readers tonight.

Bob writes:

Is Kári Tulinius cheering on Mali, along with the rest of Finland?

And Peter says:

If Namibia keeper Lloyd Kazapua looks like he’s feeling Chippa, it’s because that’s the club he plays for in the South African Premier Division. Namibia’s starting lineup also features the scorcher Hotto, but presumably Tottenham Hotspur fans are rooting for Yves Bissouma’s Mali.

Peter also has his say on Hotto:

Hot off the press: Having lost his boot, I suppose it’s Hotto off the gegenpress.

Thank you all for the entertainment, given the games have not been giving much on that front.

Half-time: Namibia 0-0 Mali

Hotto gets a yellow card for a foul just before the referee blows the whistle.

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Half-time: South Africa 0-0 Tunisia

Tunisia have 45 minutes to save their tournament.

Namibia 0-0 Mali: Also two minutes have been added on here. Hotto gets fouled and his boot comes off in the process.

He shortly earns a corner but Tijueza’s outswinger is cleared.

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South Africa 0-0 Tunisia: Madau and Achouri get a talking to from the referee after a small scuffle. No cards shown. Two minutes of added time in this half.

South Africa 0-0 Tunisia: Play has been really slow in the last few minutes that the camera operator has opted to show the fans even while the ball is in play. A few Tunisian fans (and a Tanzanian) are banging a drum in an attempt to urge on their team.

South Africa 0-0 Tunisia: Kechrida tries to argue that it was a shoulder to shoulder challenge after he fouls Makgopa but the referee gives a free-kick. It’s a good delivery and Mvala’s header is just wide at the near post. I think Ben Said would have had it covered but a good chance for South Africa!

Namibia 0-0 Mali: Mali almost score an own goal after some pressure from Muzeu. They’re lucky that they only concede a corner that leads to a shot off target.

South Africa 0-0 Tunisia: Mudau goes down with an ankle injury. The medics are on the pitch and the camera pans to fans. Some great get up from both sets of fans.

Play continues while Madau is still receiving treatment on the sideline.

South Africa 0-0 Tunisia: Morena has a go from distance! It’s a good shot and even with the heavy deflection it looks like it may sneak into the top corner but the ball is just on the other side of the post. Let off for Tunisia.

South Africa 0-0 Tunisia: Tunisia are sleeping. The lose the ball in midfield and South Africa counter. The north African side are certainly not playing like a side who are about to be knocked out.

Namibia 0-0 Mali: This is the game that seems more open so far. Mali once again come so close to scoring. Traore with a fantastic defence-splitting pass. It finds the head of Sinayoko who heads it wide from close range.

And shortly after, we go to a cooling break.

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South Africa 0-0 Tunisia: Ouch! Tunisia win a free-kick after a stamp on the back. But the replay shows that it was another red shirt who stepped on the back of his own teammate. That is pretty amusing.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter much because Ben Slimane’s free-kick goes out of play.

Namibia 0-0 Mali: And all of a sudden we’re at the other end. Diabaté takes a touch, puts it on his strong foot and curls a shot that Kazapua has to use two strong hands to save.

Namibia 0-0 Mali: A ball over Mali’s defensive line finds Shalulile who speeds into the box. His cross is poor but he shows great spirit to win the second ball before the referee deems the ball went out.

Namibia 0-0 Mali: Is this highline from Mali going to cause them trouble? We have our first shot on target of the game it is from Namibia. It’s Tjiueza who bundles in and controls a wild ball and aims for the far post from a tight angle but Diarra parries it away before the ball hits the post.

South Africa 0-0 Tunisia: Makgopa, who should probably be in the box on the receiving end of these types of balls, puts a cross in for Morena who tries to head it down, but he is unable to control it.

South Africa 0-0 Tunisia: CLOSE! Tunisia win another corner and it goes flying to the near post. A flurry of red shirts try to get on the end on it but it’s almost like the ball had too much pace.

A reminder: Tunisia need to WIN to have any chance of advancing.

Tunisia’s Montassar Talbi (centre left) goes up for a header with South Africa’s Evidence Makgopa. Photograph: Themba Hadebe/AP

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Namibia 0-0 Mali: Namibia are attempting to go long in the early minutes rather than play through Mali’s midfield … Not the best idea given that Mali also have the height at the back. They get a free-kick from about 40 yards out on the left.

It goes straight to Mali’s Traora who completely misses the ball. That could have been bad but Mali clear before Namibia can pounce on the rolling ball.

South Africa 0-0 Tunisia: Sithole is down after a rough tackle but he seems to be OK to continue as he limps it off.

South Africa 0-0 Tunisia: Tunisia get an early corner kick. Ben Slimane of Sheffield United takes it and finds Meriah but the centre-back cannot direct it on target. The follow-up corner is straight into the hands of Williams.

Namibia 0-0 Mali: Mali don’t care that they are already through. They are on the front foot immediately. The easily pass between the lines to get to the final third and Bissouma tries his luck with an early shot, but it’s blocked.

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First half kick-offs

Here we go!

Another look at the teams for the 5pm GMT kick-off games.

Later tonight, Zambia will take on heavyweights Morocco in Group F and Patson Daka has impressed. The Leicester striker has struggled for Championship game time but has became the first player to score at every Afcon age level.

Read more here from Calvin Kaumba Chikenge who is on the ground in Lusaka.

Lots of attention falls to Ivory Coast. It would be a big blow if the hosts exit at this stage of the tournament, especially given the hype ebhind this new generation. To advance, they need:

  • For Namibia to lose to Mali AND for Tunisia to either fail to beat South Africa OR for them to beat South Africa by a score of 6-0 or more in Group E

  • For Morocco to beat Zambia in Group F

Confused? I don’t blame you. As the goals go in tonight, I will (try to) keep you updated on who advances as it stands.

I can tell you now that Tunisia have scored one goal and had only five shots on target in their opening two matches so I do not think they will be scoring upwards of six goals. Famous last words as they say.

Even if Ivory Coast march on, they have sacked their manager Jean-Louis Gasset. Chris Hughton has also been relieved of his duties at Ghana.

Namibia v Mali teams

Namibia: Kazapua; Kamberipa, Amutenya, Haukongo, Hanamub; Petrus, Muzeu, Katua, Hotto; Tjiueza, Shalulile. Substitutes: Haoseb, Gebhardt, Hambira, Kambato, Iimbondi, Kamatuka, Papama, Ndisiro, Rudath, Shitembi, Maova.

Mali: Diarra; H Traore, Kouyaté, Niakate, Diarra; Dieng; Bissouma, Dorgeles, Diabaté; Sinayoko, Niakaté. Substitutes: Diawara, Danté, Samassekou, Sissoko, Coulibaly, Camara, Fofana, Sacko, Koïta, A Traoré, A Doumbia, K Doumbia.

South Africa v Tunisia teams

South Africa: Williams; Mudau, Kekana, Mvala, Modiba; Sithole; Mokoena, Zwane, Morena; Makgopa, Tau. Substitutes: Mobbie, Mashego, Xulu, Appollis, Adams, Maseko, Monare, Mothwa, Lepasa, Sibisi, Mayambela, Goss.

Tunisia: Ben Said; Kechrida, Meriah, Talbi, Abdi; Skhiri, Laïdouni, Rafia, Ben Slimane; Achouri, Jaziri. Substitutes: Hassen, Ben Romdhane, Msakni, Jouini, Maaloul, Jelassi, Haddadi, Dahmen, Ltaief, Srarfi, Valery, Sliti.

Yesterday was an action-packed day which saw the 2019 champions, Algeria, fall in the group stages. They were defeated by Mauritania who recorded their first ever win at the tournament.

And here is a special angle of that wondrous goal.

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Good evening and welcome to the final day of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations group stages. So much excitement, drama and upsets have led us to this moment. Long may it continue.

We know 12 of the 16 teams that will be making an appearance in this year’s knockouts but there is still so much to play for.

Mali currently lead Group E with four points. South Africa and Namibia are right on their tails with three each and Tunisia are on the brink of exiting the tournament having only drawn once. None of the four teams’ current position is secure and all of them bar Mali could be bottom of the group come full-time.

Because of Afcon’s format, four of the six third-ranked teams also advance to the last 16. So what happens today doesn’t only affect the teams playing. One of those teams is the host nation, Ivory Coast, who need a few results to go their way to advance.

Let’s get started!

South Africa v Tunisia and Namibia v Mali – kick-off is at 5pm GMT

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