A second-half strike by Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha was the difference in the La Cote d’Ivoire-Mali Round of 16 game played at the Suez Stadium.
It was the penultimate last 16 tie at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
Though dominating play at the start, the Eagles of Mali could not turn their chances into goals.
Even a blunder by Sylvain Gbohouo in the early stages of the match could not be capitalised on by the Malians, who topped Group E with six goals and seven points.
The two West African sides could not break each other until 14 minutes to go when Zaha picked his ball to beat the Malian goalie.
The game ended 1-0 in favour of the two-time champions.
The win sees the Elephants setting up a tie with Algeria in the quarter-final on Thursday.