Free scoring Malian side will take on South Africa in the second fixture of group E on Tuesday. Mali found the net 15 times during their qualifier for this year’s AFCON, a record surpassed only by Nigeria’s 22 goals.
Mali have never won the AFCON title in history while South Africa has won it once in 1996 as the hosting nation.
About the game
Many panelist have predicted Group E to be an even group, with all teams having almost an equal chance to progress. Mali, boasting AFCON regularity, holds the highest chance of progression, having topped Group G in qualifiers.
Despite a historical AFCON participation record, Mali seeks to surpass recent round-of-16 exits. Mali have not tasted defeat in any of their opening AFCON matches, winning seven times with five draws. However, they are yet to win two matches in a row at any tournament since 2004.
South Africa, securing qualification as Group K runners-up, is also a favorite to progress. The Bafana Banana favored a squad with a significant representation from Mamelodi Sundowns. South Africa rejoins the Africa Cup of Nations for the 11th time, with their last appearance coming in 2019.
The peak of their glory days in the competition was winning the AFCON title in 1996 as the host in Johannesburg. Since this triumphant, their recent campaigns have seen them struggle to replicate that success. Hugo Broos, South Africa boss, is participating in his second AFCON tournament as a coach. He won the title for Cameroon on his first try in 2017. Both teams face challenges, with Mali navigating an injury crisis, setting the stage for a compelling encounter.
The Best Betting Odds for Mali vs South Africa
This looks like a close contest between the two, but either team will strive to start the tournament strongly, suggesting a thrilling match awaits in Korhogo.
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