Mali chase ‘double’ over Namibia

Mali chase ‘double’ over Namibia
Mali coach Mohamed Magassouba

by Graeme Jackson

Monday Nov 16, 2020. 13:00

Mali will chase a second straight win over Namibia in Group A of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers when the teams meet at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek on Tuesday 17 November 2020, kick-off at 21h00 CAT.

The Eagles defeated the Brave Warriors 1-0 when the teams met in Bamako on Friday, with El Bilal Toure’s goal proving decisive.

The result saw Mali move to seven points, while Namibia remained on three. Top-of-the-log Guinea lead with eight points after a 1-1 draw away to Chad (one point) on Sunday. A win for the Eagles on Tuesday would seal qualification and leave the Brave Warriors on the cusp of elimination.

Mali coach Mohamed Magassouba said his team’s inability to rack up a more emphatic score line against Namibia was due to a less-than-ideal playing surface.

“We already knew that Namibia was going to be a very big game for us because we expected that they would be tough at altitude,” explained the Eagles boss.

“But we were able to contain them. We must recognise that our football is based on the ground, but with a very bouncing ground like that, the players had all the difficulties in the world to be able to express themselves correctly, as we wanted.”

Magassouba continued, “But we already know the measure to be taken to be able to counter this team. There [Windhoek] they have synthetic turf and the ground is flat for us. I assure you that they will be surprised because we will develop a football which will allow us to bring back what is essential to us [three points].”

Namibia, meanwhile, will want to recapture the form which saw them defeat Chad 2-1 in Windhoek back in November 2019.

“We need to apply ourselves correctly in the moments of play,” said coach Bobby Samaria, as the Brave Warriors look to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for back-to-back AFCONs for the first time in their history.

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