Hosts Gabon suffered penalty shoot-out heartbreak as Mali prevented them from
reaching a first African Nations Cup semi-final in Libreville.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed the only penalty of the shoot-out and the
Gabon striker broke down in tears after Mali's Barcelona playmaker Seydou Keita
netted the winning spot-kick.
It was cruel on Gabon who had been on the verge of progressing thanks to Eric
Mouloungui's 55th-minute opener only for Cheick Diabate to equalise with six
minutes left in normal time.
Mali had Modibo Maiga sent off moments later but Gabon failed to make their
one-man advantage count in extra-time before crashing out in the shoot-out.
Gabon had the best of a goalless first half with Aubameyang, who had scored in
each of the group stage games, hitting a post from 12 yards after 29 minutes.
The hosts did deservedly go ahead on 55 minutes when Aubameyang cut a pass back
for Mouloungui, who forced his shot in despite Keita's desperate effort to clear
off the line.
That looked enough to secure the hosts an historic success until Maiga teed-up
Diabate to score with six minutes remaining.
The match took another turn a minute later when Maiga was given his marching
orders for a second caution.
Gabon failed to capitalise on his absence in extra-time and were lucky even to
reach the shoot-out as Diabate missed a header from six yards after he was
picked out by Adama Tamboura's free-kick.