Mali booked their place in the quarterfinals of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup after knocking out pre-tournament favourites Argentina 5-4 on penalties after the game ended 2-2 after extra time at the Stadion Miejskiin Bielsko-Biała, Poland.
Mali successfully converted all their penalties while keeper Youssouf Koita saved Tomas Chancalay’s penalty, Argentina’s second spot-kick.
Mali came from behind twice against the six-time champions to force the game into a penalty shootout.
Adolfo Gaich opened the scoring four minutes after the start of the second half following a defensive lapse by the Malians.
Abdoulaye Diaby powered home a header on 67 minutes to level the tie. The game then went into extra time as neither side was able to convert their chances in regular time.
Argentina regained their lead after Francisco Barco’s shot cannoned off Diaby barely a minute into the first period of extra time.
However, Mali restored parity once more after Sekou Keita’s quick through ball from a free-kick released Boubacar Konte who fired past Argentina’s Manuel Roffo in the 121stminute.
In the shootout, following Argentina’s miss, Sambou Sissoko netted the winning penalty to send Mali through to the quarterfinals.
Mali and Senegal are Africa’s remaining representatives at the tournament.
Mali will face Italy on Friday while Senegal, who eliminated Nigeria, play South Korea on Saturday.