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Mali finished fourth at the 2011 African Youth Championships to seal a fourth appearance at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup.
Visits to the finals have been few and far between down the years, with the first coming in 1989 when the team lost to Brazil (0-5) and East Germany (0-3), but did manage a 1-1 draw with USA.
The team fared much better in 1999 and when one looks at the names in the squad, it is not hard to see why. They beat Uruguay (2-1) and Portugal (2-1) in the group stages, before dispatching fellow Africans Cameroon (5-4) and Nigeria (3-1) on their way to the semifinals.
There they lost 3-1 to Spain, but did collect the bronze medal with a 1-0 win over the Uruguayans in the third-place play-off.
The squad contained the likes of Mahamadou Diarra and Seydou Keita, players who would go on to star for Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively, as well the senior national team.
Their next visit was in 2003, but was less successful. A 3-2 win over Uzbekistan was followed by defeats to Spain (0-2) and Argentina (1-3) to mean a group stage exit.
The current side is coached by Cheick Fantamady Diallo, who was a star for Mali at the 1972 Africa Cup of Nations where they reached the final.
|2017 U20 AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS TEAM RECORD|
|LAST 10 HOME:||4||1||1||2||4||10||-6||0||0||4|
|LAST 10 AWAY:||6||3||1||2||10||6||0||0||0||10|