Mamoutou NDiaye of Mali challenged by Khalid Aucho of Uganda during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Uganda and Mali at the Oyem Stadium in Gabon on 25 January 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Friday Aug 11, 2017. 09:30
The Les Mourabitones of Mauritania will count on their homeground advantage when they host Mali in a first leg 2018 CAF African Championship qualifier on Saturday.
The hosts are fresh from two back-to-back clashes against Liberia in the previous round of the qualifiers.
Although they claimed a 2-0 win in the opening leg, they lost the second leg 1-0, allowing Mauritani to progress 2-1 on aggregate.
A win at home for Mauritania will ensure they are at an advantage ahead of the second leg next weekend, 19 August in Yaounde.
Shifting focus to the visiting Malian side, they are in high spirits after beating Gambia 4-0 in their previous clash which was a second leg CHAN qualifier as well.
In their first round encounter, they drew 0-0 away in Bakau, but claimed a convincing win at home in Bamako to win 4-0 on aggregate and progress to the last round of CHAN qualifying.
The winner over both legs between Mauritania and Mali will qualify to participate at the showpiece set for Kenya in 2018.
The encounter will be staged at the Stade Olympique de Nouakchott in Mauritania on Saturday, kick-off is at 19:00 (CAT).