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Shocking moment ref is forced to push away furious players who swarm him

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ANGRY Mali players had to be held back from the referee in a shocking climax to a dramatic Afcon quarter-final.

Chaos erupted as Mail were convinced more time should have been played following Oumar Diakite’s 122nd-minute winner for Ivory Coast.

Another official intervened amid heated exchanges on the final whistle

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Another official intervened amid heated exchanges on the final whistle
Referee Adel Elsaid had to guide players away

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Referee Adel Elsaid had to guide players away

Ref Adel Elsaid was forced to push players away and back off as they swarmed around him on the final whistle.

It was a tempestuous finale to a match that had been just as extraordinary.

Each side had a player sent off before Ivory Coast took the tie to extra time with a last-gasp leveller – then notched their clincher seconds from the end of the additional half-hour.

And what was already a fiery contest turned more explosive when Elsaid blew up.

Many Mali stars believed the contest was ended too early due – insisting that stoppages in extra time meant more minutes to play.

Mali skipper Hamari Traore was right at the front of the furious exchanges – appearing to make contact with Elsaid.

The ref shoved the full-back away – and gave him a straight red card.

It all overshadowed another Afcon escape for Ivory Coast.

Mali players vented their anger and surprise at the final whistle

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Mali players vented their anger and surprise at the final whistle

They lost Odilon Kossounou to a red card shortly before the interval following his second bookable foul.

And Nene Dorgeles curved a brilliant opener for Mali on 71 minutes.

But Simon Adingra equalised seconds from the end of normal time.

And if Mali felt aggrieved by that, worse followed – as Diakite pounced to tuck home Seko Fofana’s shot in the dying moments of extra time.

Diakite was sent off for removing his shirt amid wild Ivory Coast celebrations.

But seconds later came even rawer emotions – from Mali, as they went too far with their protests at the abrupt final whistle.

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