Southampton winger Moussa Djenepo helped Mali get off to the perfect start in their Africa Cup of Nations 2019 opener as they earned a 4-1 victory over Mauritania in Group E on Monday night.
It took until the 38th minute to break the deadline when space opened up for captain Abdoulay Diaby, who unleashed an unstoppable effort past Brahim Souleimane into the top corner.
Moments later Djenepo tested the goalkeeper when he cut inside from the left before sending a snapshot towards the near post.
But shortly before the break, Mali did double their advantage when Lassana Coulibaly was deemed to have been brought down inside the box, allowing Moussa Marega to convert the resulting penalty.
The second-half continued in similar fashion and on 55 minutes Mali had their third of the evening. Cercle Brugge’s Adama Traoré picked up the ball on the edge of the box before firing a precise, left-footed finish into the corner.
Mauritania did reduce the deficit late on when El Id Hacen converted from the penalty spot, before substitute Adama Traore of Metz made sure of the points with a strike from outside the box.
Next up, it's a meeting with Tunisia on Friday 28th June at 3.30pm BST.