Mali makes winning start to CAN qualifying

Mali was too strong for Malawi in CAN qualifying. (Getty)

Mali began its Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign with a 2-0 win over Malawi despite having goalkeeper Mamadou Samassa sent off.

Wolves forward Bakary Sako gave Mali the lead in the 52nd minute, producing a fine first touch to create space for himself in the area before hammering home.

The host's bid for three points could have been derailed when Samassa was given his marching orders in the 63rd minute - the goalkeeper handling the ball outside his area to earn a straight red card.

Mali eventually made sure of victory in second-half stoppage time as Bordeaux man Cheick Tidiane Diabate beat the Malawian goalkeeper in the air and nodded into the empty goal.

Source Omnisport