Guinea booked their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) ticket with a 1-0 win over Mali in Group A at the Stade du 28 Septembre in Conakry on Wednesday.

A goal from Seydouba Soumah was enough to ensure Guinea qualified for the finals of the AFCON with a win over the group leaders Mali. 

The Partizan Belgrade midfielder scored the only goal of the game after 75 minutes.

This means that both Mali and Guinea have qualified for the 2022 AFCON Finals to be played in Cameroon and this seals Group A. Guinea can now finish as Group A winners with a win in Namibia on Sunday, since Mali’s qualification campaign is over given that Chad have been disqualified from the qualifiers due to government interference. 

Although Namibia were automatically awarded a 3-0 victory over Chad, Guinea’s victory ensured that the Southern African side could not finish higher than third.

Victory moved the Syli Nationale up to 11 points, two behind Mali who had already booked their place in the finals after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) disqualified Chad.

Namibia will now play Guinea on Sunday, when Mali will be awarded a 3-0 win over Chad by default.

The Brave Warriors’ chances of reaching back-to-back AFCON tournaments have now come to an end, with Sunday’s match against Guinea in Windhoek being a game of no real meaning for either side unless the Guineans are determined to end the group in first place.

The defining moment of a largely cagey encounter came in the 75th minute as Seydouba Soumah pounced on a loose ball on the edge of the box before smashing the ball with a powerful effort that flew past Les Aigles shot-stopper Djigui Diarra.