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AFCON

Quarter-final – Mali v Côte d’Ivoire: Facts & Figures –

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final - Mali V Côte D'Ivoire: Facts & Figures -

Cote d’Ivoire, despite entering the knockout stage as the third-placed qualifiers, have shown resilience to reach the quarter finals of the Africa Cup of Nations despite their shaky start in the competition.

The Elephants face a a big test to their character when they take on the talented Mali side who are keen on making history with their free flowing style of play.

Below are some of the statistics and information on the game:

  • This will be the sixth CAF Africa Cup of Nations encounter between Mali and Côte d’Ivoire and the first since meeting in the last 16 in 2019 (1-0 win for Côte d’Ivoire). The Elephants have never lost a CAF Africa Cup Nations match against the Eagles, winning four of their previous five games (D1), while against no other team have they played more often in the competition without losing (also unbeaten in five games against Togo).
  • Mali have scored just two goals in their previous five AFCON games against Côte d’Ivoire (conceded nine), against no team that they’ve played more than twice in the competition have they scored fewer goals.
  • Mali have progressed from all five of their previous quarter-final appearances at the Africa Cup of Nations, indeed it is the most number of matches any team has played in this round without ever being eliminated.
  • Côte d’Ivoire are through to the quarter-finals of AFCON 2023 despite losing two of their last three matches; prior to the 1-0 defeat to Nigeria in their second group game this year, they’d only lost two of their previous 19 games in the competition.
  • Côte d’Ivoire have only scored three goals in getting to the quarter-finals of AFCON 2023, the fewest they’ve ever scored in a single edition when playing a minimum of four matches.
  • If Côte d’Ivoire were to progress against Mali, the hosts (or co-host) will have reached at least the semi-finals in consecutive AFCON tournaments (after Cameroon finished third in 2021) for the first time since a run of seven tournaments in a row between 1996 and 2008.
  • Mali are unbeaten in their last eight AFCON matches since the start of the 2021 edition (W4 D4), conceding just three goals and keeping five clean sheets.
  • Côte d’Ivoire have recorded 49 sequences of 10+ passes in open play at the 2023 CAF Africa Cup of Nations (12.3 per match). Over the last five editions, only Cameroon in 2021 (78, 11.1 per match) have made more in a single tournament.
  • Côte d’Ivoire have scored from just 5.6% of their shots at AFCON 2023 (3/54), only DR Congo (5.4% 3/56) have lower shot conversion rate among the quarter-finalists, while it’s the worst ratio in a single AFCON edition for Côte d’Ivoire on record (since 2010).
  • Lassine Sinayoko has scored three of Mali’s five goals at AFCON 2023 and could become the first Malian to score four goals in a single edition since Freddy Kanoute in 2004 (4).

-CAF

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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AFCON

Liberia, Eswatini hold upper hand in AFCON 2025 preliminary qualifiers –

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Liberia, Eswatini Hold Upper Hand In AFCON 2025 Preliminary Qualifiers -

After commanding victories in the first leg matches of the Africa Cup of Nations, Morocco 2025, qualifiers, Chad, Liberia, and Eswatini find themselves in advantageous positions as they gear up for the return fixtures scheduled for Tuesday.

As the second leg of the preliminary fixtures approach, all eyes will be on these teams as they vie for their coveted spots in the group phase of the qualifiers, with the hopes of making their mark on the continental stage.

Chad emerged victorious with a narrow 1-0 win over Mauritius, joining Liberia and Eswatini in the lead after their impressive triumphs earlier last week.

Liberia secured a 2-0 victory against Djibouti, while Eswatini displayed their dominance with a 3-0 win over Somalia.

The second leg promises to be fiercely contested, particularly for Chad, who will face a challenging encounter against Mauritius on the latter’s home turf.

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Coach Kevin Nicaise’s players are keen to defend their slender lead and secure their spot in the next phase of the qualifiers but the trainer admits they have an arduous task.

“We are far from perfect, far from being a top team in the world. We are in the construction phase. There are still things to work on and improve,” coach Nicaise said after their first-leg win.

“It is not overnight that we will be a top team in the world, we are aware of that, however we are working hard with the group and the staff to achieve this goal.”

Meanwhile, Liberia will host Djibouti, aiming to build on their first-leg success and seal their progression to the next round.

Eswatini will host Somalia with confidence, seeking to maintain their winning momentum and secure passage to the next stage of the tournament.

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South Sudan and Sao Tome and Principe will also face off in what is expected to be a closely contested encounter, following their goalless draw in the first leg.

With both teams eager for victory, the match promises to be a thrilling battle for supremacy.

-CAF

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AFCON

Liberia and Eswatini take control of AFCON preliminary ties

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Liberia and Eswatini take control of AFCON preliminary ties

Liberia and Eswatini took commanding leads in their respective Africa Cup of Nations, Morocco 2025, preliminary round ties after claiming impressive away victories on Wednesday.

Liberia captain Murphy Dorley scored one of two first-half goals as the Lone Stars defeated hosts Djibouti 2-0 in the opening leg in  Marrakech.

Mohammed Sangare broke the deadlock from the penalty spot on 23 minutes before Dorley coolly slotted home Sebastian Teclar’s cross 12 minutes later.

Djibouti struggled to lay a glove on their more illustrious opponents as the Lone Star side kept them at bay to take two away goals into next week’s second leg in Monrovia.

Eswatini were also celebrating after demolishing Somalia 3-0 in the Moroccoan  city of El Jadida to put one foot in the group stage qualifiers.

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Striker Sabelo Ndzinisa was the hero, netting twice either side of Felicio Figuareido’s 40th minute opener for the visitors.

Somalia now face an uphill battle to qualify when they travel to the Mbombela Stadium in the South African city of Nelspruit for the return on March 26th.

The opening leg victories give Liberia and Eswatini a huge advantage heading into the second legs as they target a place in the group stage on the road to next year’s finals in Morocco.

Back from the locker room, Somalia still couldn’t play its game.

Worse, Eswatini widened the gap with Ginindza who scored his double of the evening in the 56th minute. 3-0, the score remained unchanged on the scoreboard until the final whistle.

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Victory for Eswatini which will still have to perform in the return leg to ensure its qualification for the qualifiers.

 

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AFCON

Road to Morocco 2025 begins today

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Liberia and Eswatini take control of AFCON preliminary ties

Following last month’s grand closing to the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations held in Cote d’Ivoire where the hosts were crowned champions for the third time, Africa’s biggest competition is now shifting its focus to the 35th edition set to be held in Morocco next year.

A total of 52 Nations will be engaged to compete for a place in the 24-nation competition.

To mark the start of the qualifiers following the draw that was held in Cairo on 20 February 2024, eight lowest ranked nations will compete in the Preliminary Qualifiers starting on Wednesday, 20 March over a two-legged format that will decide the four nations that will join the other 44 African nations to make up the group stages of the qualifiers.

The CAF AFCON Morocco 2025 journey officially gets underway on Wednesday, 20 March with two fixtures as Somalia plays host to Eswatini, while Djibouti faces Liberia.

Two days later, Chad locks horns with Mauritius before Sao Tome and Principe takes on South Sudan.

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The return legs will conclude on Tuesday, 26 March with all matches set to take place on the day to officially decide the preliminary phase of the competition.

 

 AFCON Morocco 2025 Preliminary Qualifiers:

First Leg Fixtures:

Wednesday, 20 March 

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  • 18:00 GMT | Somalia – Eswatini
  • 22:00 GMT | Djibouti – Liberia

 

Friday, 22 March

  • 18:00 GMT | Chad – Mauritius
  • 19:00 GMT | Sao Tome and Principe – South Sudan

 

Return Leg Fixtures:

Tuesday, 26 March

  • 13:00 GMT | Eswatini – Somalia
  • 16:00 GMT | Liberia – Djibouti
  • 17:00 GMT | South Sudan – Sao Tome and Principe
  • 15:00 GMT | Mauritius – Chad
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