Molla Wague of Mali challenged by Luwaga Kizoto 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
Thursday Feb 15, 2018. 11:30
The Eagles of Mali will face Japan in a friendly international set for March 23 in Belgium as they prepare for their 2019 CAF African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Mali confirmed the encounter will take place in Liege, Belgium and will mark the first meeting between the two sides at senior level.
The Malian Football Federation committee added that the match will be hosted by the city of Liege ahead of their qualifier against South Sudan in September.
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On the other hand, the Japanese will be using the match as part of their preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup where they have been drawn in Group H against Colombia, Senegal and Poland.
“It’s an important opportunity to figure out the team for the tournament,” Japan’s coach Vahid Halilhodzic said in a statement.
Japan are ranked 56th in the world and will also play a friendly with Paraguay on June 12.
Meanwhile, the West Africans are in Group C in the AFCON qualifier together with Burundi and Gabon and are second in the group with three points.