There was drama at the AFCON today, as the game between Tunisia and Mali saw the referee blow for full time 10 seconds before 90 minutes.
More bizarrely, that was the second time he did it in the same game, as he earlier stopped the game at the 85th minute.
A standard football match is 90 minutes made up of two 45-minute halves. In the middle of the game, there is a 15-minute break known as ‘half-time’.
But this particular game was not going to get the regular time it deserved.
Mali were leading the match 1-0 after Ibrahima Koné scored from the penalty spot before Tunisia were denied from 12 yards in the second half, after former Sunderland man Wahbi Khazri’s spot-kick was saved by Ibrahim Mounkoro.
The game had several stoppages throughout the second half. Along with the two penalties, there were also two cooling breaks, VAR decisions and injury stoppages.
Mali substitute El Bilal Touré had also been sent off to add to the extra time that needed to be added on at the end of the game.
Before blowing the whistle in the 89th minute, the referee had initially blown up for the end of the game in the 85th minute – rightfully causing anger amongst both sets of players – before resuming the game shortly after.
With many expecting a lengthy amount of stoppage time, the referee instead shocked everyone once again as he blew his whistle on 89 minutes and 44 seconds on the clock.