Mali coach Eric Chelle relishes clash with Burkina Faso
Head coach of the Mali national team, Eric Chelle, is relishing the prospect of playing against neighbors Burkina Faso in their attempt to qualify for the quarter-finals of the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023.
The Eagles take on Burkina Faso, a nation that is separated from them by a mere 650km, in a high-stakes TotalEnergies CAF AFCON round of 16 clash on Tuesday, 30 January, in what will be the last fixture held at Korhogo’s Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium.
A packed-to-the-rafters stadium is expected, with both nations looking to have the bragging rights and qualify for the quarter-finals.
Chelle hopes to guide Mali to the next round of the knockouts and potentially all the way, with the nation yet to taste continental glory, having come close in 1972 with their 3-2 loss to Congo in the final.
“Of course, it’s a game with neighboring countries, just like we have seen in other matches; however, this one is more special because it is the knockout. These are always interesting games to play and must be approached with caution and, of course, a bit of confidence,” said Chelle.
Commenting on the opposition’s chances against them, the 46-year-old coach born in Cote d’Ivoire said the Stallions have a similar style of play and enjoy keeping the ball, which would guarantee a good game of open football.
“They play good football. The coach is experienced and can engage his team. It’s a pleasure playing against our neighbors, and we look forward to a good game as both teams enjoy keeping the ball”, concluded the coach.
Kick-off is on Tuesday at 20h00 GMT.