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AFCON match between Tunisia and Mali ends in absolute chaos after the referee blows for full-time early twice

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Tunisia’s match against Mali at the Africa Cup of Nations ended in chaos on Wednesday after the referee prematurely blew for full-time twice – including FIVE minutes before the 90 minutes was up.

Mali beat Tunisia 1-0 in their opening match of the tournament, thanks to a first-half goal from Ibrahima Kone, but that barely tells the story of an absolutely crazy match, which featured two controversial penalties, a red card and a whole heap of refereeing howlers.

Mali were awarded a penalty in the 48th minute when Ellyes Skhiri blocked a shot with his arm, with Kone stepping up to score on his debut.

Tunisia were given the chance to equalise from the penalty spot in the 75th minute following a VAR review, after Moussa Djenepo was adjudged to have handled the ball.

However, former Sunderland forward Wahbi Khazri saw his shot saved by Mali goalkeeper Ibrahim Mounkoro.

Things then took a bizarre turn when Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe blew his whistle for full-time after only 85 minutes.

Both sets of players looked totally baffled as Sikazwe pointed to the tunnel before realising his error.

Just minutes later, Zikazwe gave Malian midfielder El Bilal Toure a straight red card for an innocuous challenge in midfield.

Both sets of players looked totally baffled as Sikazwe pointed to the tunnel before realising his error.

Just minutes later, Zikazwe gave Malian midfielder El Bilal Toure a straight red card for an innocuous challenge in midfield.

He was asked to review the challenge by VAR and checked on the pitchside screen, before staying with his decision.

Tunisia pushed for an equaliser against the 10 men but were left frustrated when Zikazwe blew for full-time with 10 seconds remaining in the 90 minutes.

Tunisia’s players were clearly incensed by the referee’s decision to not add any extra time, despite the numerous stoppages in the match.

Zikazwe required protection from security after the full-time whistle, as Tunisia’s head coach Mondher Kebaier angrily remonstrated with the officials.

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