Mahamadou Diarra pulled a goal back for Mali
A second-string France side was too strong for Mali in Tuesday's friendly match in Paris.
Samir Nasri poked in from close range in the second minute, and Jerome Rothen scored with a penalty.
Florent Sinama-Pongolle headed in Nasri's free kick moments before halftime to put France 3-0 up.
Mali pulled back two goals in the second half, through Mahamadou Diarra's 63rd-minute header and Modibo Maiga's 15-yard shot on 75 minutes.
The Eagles' comeback prompted cheers from several hundred flag-waving Mali fans at the Stade Charlety in southern Paris.
Mali, who are without a substantive head coach, missed striker Frederic Kanoute, who has a heel injury and did not make the trip from Spain.
In other friendly matches played in France, Gabon and DR Congo drew 0-0, and Guinea beat Togo 2-0.
Both Guinea goals came from Aliu Doumbouya, in the last 10 minutes of the match.
French coach Henri Stambouli was in charge of Togo, although he was not due to sign a contract with the Togo federation until Wednesday.