Mali coach Mohamed Magassouba during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Afcon Finals Mali Press Conference at Stade Omnisports de Limbe in Limbe, Cameroon on 25 January 2022 ©Fareed Kotb/BackpagePix
Wednesday Jan 26, 2022. 14:00
Mohamed Magassouba has urged Mali to show they are one of the best teams on the continent by claiming the Africa Cup of Nations title in Cameroon.
The Eagles have yet to win Africa’s biggest prize, although they came close in 1972 after reaching the final, only to be beaten 3-2 by Congo.
More recently the West Africans fell at the penultimate hurdle on five occasions, of which four semi-final appearances came since the turn of the millennium.
Magassouba’s side advanced to the round of 16 as Group F winners and they take on Equatorial Guinea in Limbe for a place in the quarter-finals.
The Malian tactician wants his players to take the next step by lifting the trophy for the first time in their nation’s history to prove they belong amongst Africa’s elite.
“This group has matured, we adapt to the reality of the match. Behind self-sacrifice, will and power, we play to make our people proud,” Magassouba said in the pre-match press conference.
“We will face a good team from Equatorial Guinea. We respect them but we will play to win. I always tell my players we play to win; we want this cup.
“Mali is one of the best nations in African football, it takes a continental trophy to top it off.”