Group E, winner Mali set up a last-16 meeting with Burkina Faso in Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium next Tuesday. Mali qualified with five points, which is the least tally among all other group leaders. The team, led by coach Eric Chelle, is keen to build on their group-stage success and make a deep run in the tournament
Burkina Faso had four points in group D, enough for them to pull through as runner up behind Angola.
About the game
The Eagles of Mali may not have soared with breathtaking displays in the group stage, but their pragmatic approach proved effective. A resounding 2-0 victory over South Africa, followed by a 1-1 grind with Tunisia, and a resilient 0-0 draw against Namibia secured them the top spot. While their attack lacked fluidity, their defense stood firm, led by the experienced goalkeeper Djigui Diarra with two clean sheets.
Mali are compact and defensively disciplined, making them difficult to break down. The Eagle’s possess experienced leadership figures like Traoré, Doumbia and Yves Bissouma of Tottenham.
On the other side of the spectrum, the Stallions of Burkina Faso emerged from a tougher group, but their indomitable spirit shone through. They held the mighty Algeria to a 1-1 draw, narrowly won 1-0 against Mauritania, before losing 2-0 to Angola 2-0 in the group finale. While their defensive solidity remained their cornerstone, the emergence of young attacking talents like Edmond Tapsoba provided a welcome spark.
Their last head to head meeting was in the AFCON group A match in 2021 which ended 1-0 in favor of Mali. No injury from both sides and we expect them to field formidable players for the contest.
The Best Betting Odds for Mali vs Burkina Faso
Mali’s experience and defensive resolve might give them a slight edge in this match, but Burkina Faso’s youthful spark and attacking potential could tilt the scales. This clash promises to be a fascinating battle of the AFCON underdogs.
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