It was the two sides’ second Group A encounter.
Ghana’s Black Queens had picked all three points in their opening game against Algeria heading into the match while the Female Eagles had relinquished a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 to Cameroon’s Indomitable Lionesses.
A 26th minute penalty converted by eventual Player of the Match Bassira Toure shot the Malians into the lead.
It was an infringement called by Eswatini referee Leticia Viana against goalkeeper Patricia Mantey.
Though the Queens dominated play, they could not cancel the goal and the score remained 1-0 into the break.
But the hosts emerged from the half determined to level the score and this paid off in the 70th minute when captain Elizabeth Addo came from the bench to convert a penalty.
The Female Eagles, however, restored their lead four minutes later when Toure took advantage of a goal-mouth melee resulting from a set-piece to slot home for her side.
The Female Eagles held on to keep the final score at 2-1.
Black Queens coach Bashir Hayford blamed the south African referee for the result.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, he said Leticia Viana succeeded in frustrating his charges.
He said she played 80 per cent part in the defeat.
The result puts Mali level on points with Ghana and Cameroon, who will later play Algeria.
The final group games will be played on Friday, November 23.
While Ghana play Cameroon in Accra, Mali and Algeria will travel to Cape Coast to lock horns.
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