Mali and Chad kick off their respective CAF World Cup qualifying campaigns with a clash at Stade du 26 Mars on Friday evening. Despite differing recent results, the match promises to be a closely contested affair.
In their recent friendly against Saudi Arabia on October 17, Mali secured a comfortable 3-1 victory at Estadio Municipal de Portimao. Eric Chelle’s team, winning four of their last five matches, displayed dominance with goals from Moussa Doumbia, Hamari Traore, and Lassine Sinayoko. Their formidable home record, unbeaten since March 2022, positions them as strong favorites.
Chad, on the other hand, faced a narrow 1-0 defeat to Sudan’s Secretary Birds at the King Fahd Stadium. Djimtan Yatamadji’s side is currently on a three-game losing streak, aiming to secure their first away win since 2015. With a challenging task ahead, they look to avoid another winless outing on the road.
Mali’s Lassine Sinayoko, who scored in the last two appearances, aims to continue his goal-scoring form. Sikou Niakate, despite recently debuting, is expected to feature in the starting XI. Chad’s Ezechiel N’Douassel, a key figure in goals and appearances, will be closely watched. In the absence of Eric Mbangossoum, David Ramadingaye has the chance to stake his claim in the midfield.