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Preview: Mali vs. Mauritania

Following two defeats, Mauritania will attempt to play the role of disruptor to Mali’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations campaign on Thursday when the West African neighbors meet in Douala. Mali are currently tied with Gambia at the top of Group F with four points and will hope to secure first place with a win. Mauritania are coming off a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Tunisia and are still looking for their first point in Cameroon.

Mali manager Mohamed Magassouba was disappointed that Les Aigles were not able to win against Gambia but commended the Gambian defense for holding out well. Magassouba and captain Hamari Traoré stated their respect for the progress of Mauritanian football and that there are no easy teams in this competition. However, their comments implied that a failure to get three points would be a massive disappointment considering that Mali came out on top 4-1 when the two teams met in the 2019 AFCON. Striker Ibrahima Koné is looking to be the first Malian to score in all group stage matches since Seydou Keita in 2013 and this is an excellent opportunity to boost his bid for the Golden Boot.

Three losses and two draws is Mauritania’s total record at the Africa Cup of Nations over this edition and their debut in 2019, giving its squad the goal of breaking their winless streak on Thursday. Coach Didier Gomes da Rosa lamented his team’s poor starts as the reason why they failed to achieve their goal of reaching the knockout stages, in particular the disastrous start against Tunisia. The players in the Al-Murabitun squad will be playing to make the Mauritanian people proud but they will need to improve on the accuracy of their shooting, having only sent 3 of their 31 shot attempts on goal.

SuperSport and CAF Online have more information on the match below.

Mali v Mauritania – A derby to watch (CAF Online)
Mali, Mauritania in West African Derby battle (SuperSport)
Match Facts – Mali v Mauritania (CAF Online)
Match Facts – Mali v Mauritania (CAF Online)

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