Max Gradel struck late to acquire Ivory Coast a draw with Mali and keep alive their trusts of arriving at the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals.Mali had looked to be setting out toward triumph, on account of a brilliant half-volley from Bakary Sako following seven minutes.
Anyhow the equalizer went ahead 86 minutes when Gradel opened in from 12 yards.
Prior, Ivory Coast were denied a punishment when Wilfried Bony seemed, by all accounts, to be overturned by Molla Wague, while Kolo Toure headed against the bar.
Those two first-half episodes summed up the match, as the Elephants were disappointed for long spells. Also at the end of the day they expected to recuperate from a poor begin as they fell behind after just seven minutes.
Mali propelled a quick counter-assault and worked the ball out wide to Sambou Yatabare whose far-post cross was met splendidly on the half-volley by Wolves winger Sako, his left foot sending the ball low into the inverse corner.
Ivory Coast mentor Herve Renard cut an irate figure on the touchline and his wrath was further fuelled when Bony looked just as he was blocked by Molla Wague yet the official gave a corner.
They very nearly scored from set-piece yet Liverpool safeguard Kolo Toure's pounding header was sublimely tipped onto the bar by goalkeeper Soumaila Diakite.
Regardless of their earnest attempts, fortune was not supporting the Ivorians and they were exasperated when the arbitrator honored a free-kick in box, punishing Bertrand Bailly who had flicked the jumble to himself to head the ball once again to his attendant.
Mali couldn't take advantage, with Sako terminating the set-piece against the divider.
Picking a front three of Max Gradel, Bony and Doumbia, Ivory Coast pushed forward in numbers after the break.
Yet the equalizer would not come. Hard headed wide from Gradel's dinked cross and afterward when Bony turned supplier, his partners were not able to meet his welcoming close post flick-on.
From a deplorable harm Mali took a chance to assuage weight on their safeguard, taking around five minutes to substitute manager Diakite for Germain Berthe. Definitely the deferral disturbed the musicality of the diversion, both groups attempting to recapture their self-restraint.
At that point with four minutes of typical time remaining, Serge Aurier, a danger all through, played in Gradel and the substitute cut a low shot past Berthe.