Guinea will advance to face Ghana on Sunday in an Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinal match after drawing lots with Mali to determine which team would move ahead, according to BBC Sport.
Guinea and Mali played to three 1-1 draws in Group D pool play at the Cup of Nations tournament and were tied for the second spot in the group. With no other way to resolve the tie, the two sides drew lots at a Malabo hotel in Equatorial Guinea.
It was the first time since 1988 that lots were needed to determine the fate of teams in the group stage. That year, Algeria won out and advanced ahead of Ivory Coast.
In this year's tournament, Ivory Coast won Group D by beating Cameroon 1-0 – the only match in the group not to end in a 1-1 draw.
Boubacar Diarra, president of Mali’s football association, drew first and pulled the ball that placed his nation third in the group.
“Mali do not deserve to be eliminated in this way, just as we do not,” said Michel Dussuyer, Guinea manager.
Dussuyer and Mali manager Henri Kasperczak had said before the drawing that it was an unfair way of determining which side advanced.
“We have to stand by the regulation, but also think about how we improve it,” Confederation of African Football (CAF) media director Junion Binyam said, "It's not fair to have a team going out like this...because everybody expected it would be decided on the field."
The CAF has said it would consider alternative systems to separate teams in the future.
Besides Guinea and Ghana, Ivory Coast and Algeria will meet in quarterfinal play on Sunday. The quarterfinals open Saturday with Congo against the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tunisia taking on Equatorial Guinea.
- Phil Watson