As Mali faces Burkina Faso in a Round of 16 showdown
Korhogo’s Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium will close off its TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023 hosting with a blockbuster fixture between Group E top finishers, Mali facing the Stallions of Burkina Faso on Tuesday, 30 January at 17h00 GMT.
Separated by a mere 650km distance, the meeting between the two neighbors promises to produce fireworks, with both sides yearning for continental glory, having both fallen short on two separate occasions.
Having come agonizingly close to lifting the title in 2013, the Stallions, who finished second behind Angola in Group D, will be looking at going all their way despite having a jittery start to the tournament.
Their journey to the round of 16 was not the easiest after having to sweat for a victory over Mauritania, whom they edged 1-0 in their opener, before a 2-2 stand-off between them and Algeria in their second fixture.
Their final group match saw them outclassed by Angola in a 2-0 defeat, which was fortunately not too detrimental for their campaign as their 4 points were enough to see them advance.
On the other hand, Mali lived up to the high expectations placed on them in Group E after a strong opening against South Africa.
The Stallions of Burkina Faso rejoice after a shocking 2-0 defeat of the Eagles of Cattage of Tunisia
The Eagles soared over Bafana Bafana by 2-0 in their opening clash but seemed to have let the foot off the pedal in their last two group matches after playing out to a 1-1 draw with Tunisia before the Brave Warriors of Namibia held them to a goalless draw.
A lot will be expected of the Eagles’ ace, Yves Bissouma, who is yet to stamp his authority in the competition, while the Stallions’ Bertrand Traore will be entrusted with being a key figure for his side.
The Eagles of Mali soared over Bafana Bafana by 2-0 in their opening clash
- Both Burkina Faso and Mali are making their 13th TotalEnergies CAF AFCON appearance.
- Both nations have lost a TotalEnergies CAF AFCON Final.
In their previous 12 appearances, they have either been eliminated in the group stages (8 times) or at least reached the semi-finals (4 times), including the final defeat in 2013 (0 – 1 Nigeria).
This is Mali’s 13th appearance and 9th in a row. Without winning the trophy, no side has ever played as many games as Mali (54) at the TotalEnergies CAF AFCON. Their best performance dates back to 1972, when they lost 3-2 in the final against Congo.