Both teams exhibited some good football display on a soggy pitch but it was Egyptian goalie Mohamed Ghandour, who was the hero for his side, standing between the Malians and goal.
The result leaves hosts Zambia at the top of the standings after beating Guinea 1-0 earlier in the tournament opener at the same venue. Zambia has three points, Egypt and Mali in that order with a point each and Guinea in that order pointless.
Midway into the game, Ghandour coolly collected Koita’s goal bound shot in a balanced first half that failed to produce no goals.
The second half was no different with Mali dominating possession whilst the North Africans reacted occasionally on the counter.
On 59 minutes, Maiga, who was top scorer in the qualifiers was put through but with only Ghandour to beat, he shot feebly as the goalie yet again weathered the storm.
Few minutes later, it was Koita on the move but again Ghandour proved to be a reliable last man standing.
Just on the stroke of full time, the Egyptians had a good chance to score but Ahmed Ramadan’s effort was no trouble for Mali shot stopper Samuel Diarra.
Egypt will face Guinea next Wednesday whilst Zambia squares Mali both at the National Heroes Stadium, Lusaka.
Total Man of the Match: Sekou Koita