Mali’s win crushed South Sudan to the bottom of Group C without a single point after two qualification matches, losing both by 3-0 goal margins. Last year the bright stars also lost to Burundi by 3-0 in their first match.
The win took Mali top of Group C with six points while in second placed Burundi stands with 4 points after 1-1 draw away to Gabon in their second match. Gabon is third on the table with 1 point.
The Eagles’ Moussa Marega opened the scoring in the first half before Salif Coulibaly made it 2-0 in the 67th minute.
Mali completed the game after Adama Traore slotted the ball past South Sudan goalkeeper.
South Sudan head coach Ahcene Ait-Abdelmalek blamed his side’s defeat to lack of preparations, adding that the Bright Stars were lucky to concede only three goals against a strong and experienced Mali side.
The Bright Stars will play Gabon next in their third match, before the return games with Burundi, away Mali and Gabon.