Angola target Mali scalp in final Group E battle

Angola target Mali scalp in final Group E battle
Djigui Diarra of Mali clears the ball during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Tunisia and Mali at Suez Stadium, Suez, Egypt on 28 June 2019 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Staff Reporter

Monday Jul 01, 2019. 12:00

Angola will look to claim the scalp of Mali when the teams meet in their final Group E match at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. The clash is set for the Ismailia Stadium on Tuesday 1 July, kick-off at 21:00 CAT.

Angola come into the match having played to two successive draws in the AFCON thus far. Their opening 1-1 draw with Tunisia was followed by a goalless stalemate against Mauritania on Saturday.

The result left the Palancas Negras tied with Tunisia in second place on the group, two points behind leaders Mali. The South-Western Africans will know that a win guarantees a place in the knockout rounds of the competition for the first time since 2010.

Coach Srdjan Vasiljevic will want to see an improved efficiency in attack from his team, which missed several good chances to claim a win over Mauritania but weren’t able to be ruthless and clinical – two characteristics they will need to demonstrate if they are to get the better of their West African opponents.

Mali, meanwhile, stayed on course for qualification to the next round with a 1-1 draw against Tunisia on Friday. Diadie Samassekou scored direct from a corner kick (with a big helping hand from the Carthage Eagles goalkeeper) as the West Africans claimed a valuable point against the group’s other heavyweight.

Eagles coach Mohamed Magassouba was satisfied with his team’s showing against Tunisia but will want to see a victory against Angola to ensure that they finish top of the group and face a ‘weaker’ opponent in the next round.

In head-to-head stats, Angola and Mali have met in four previous matches. Both the Palancas Negras and the Eagles have claimed one win, while two games have been drawn.

The teams’ most recent meeting was an amazing 2010 Nations Cup group stage match in which Mali recovered from four goals down to hold hosts Angola 4-4 in the tournament opener in Luanda.

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