- Mali secures second qualifying spot from Group D of Africa Cup of Nations
- Mali reaches quarterfinals after beating Botswana 2-1 in Libreville
- Barcelona star Seydou Keita scores winner for Mali
- Ghana top group after being held 1-1 by Guinea
Mali beat Botswana 2-1 Wednesday to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals from Group D of the competition.
Goals from Garra Dembele and Barcelona star Seydou Keita with the winner secured the runners-up spot from the group behind Ghana, who were held 1-1 by Guinea in a match played at the same time in Franceville.
It earned Mali, reaching this stage for the first time in eight years, a match against their coach Alain Giresse's former team, co-hosts Gabon.
Botswana opened the scoring in Libreville six minutes into the second half with Moemedi Moatlaping converting after a fine move.
Mali leveled after 56 minutes when Abdou Traore crossed for Dembele to volley home.
Mali substitute Ousmane Coulibaly hit the crossbar with an effort before Tidiane Cheick Diabete set up Keita to net from close range with 15 minutes left.
The Mali players had to wait until the Ghana-Guinea game had finished to make sure they went through, at the result celebrating wildly their passage to the last eight.
Ghana, who put on the best showing of an African side at the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa, have earned a quarterfinal match against Tunisia.
The Black Stars went ahead in the 28th minute through Emmanuel Badu with a blistering shot from outside the area.
But Abdoul Razzagui Camara drew Guinea deservedly level in first half stoppage time.
Guinea were reduced to 10 men in the second half after Bah Dioulde was sent off after being booked for a second time on 70 minutes.