The Eagles at the Can "Cameroon 2021": A great opportunity to erase "Yaoundé 72" as a reference

«Yaoundé 72(8th edition of the CAN played from February 23 to March 5, 1972 in Cameroon) remains a reference for Malian football because it is still the only CAN final played by the Eagles of Mali. A lost final (2-3) against the Red Devils of Congo-Brazzaville. In March 2021, the local Eagles also missed out on the feat of continental consecration on Cameroonian soil during the 6th edition of CHAN. Mali lost again this time in the final against the local Atlas Lions (Morocco) winners 2-0. On the occasion of CAN 2021 (from January 9 to February 6, 2022 in Cameroon), the Eagles therefore have a new opportunity to turn the sad page of these failures in Yaoundé. In any case, they are eagerly awaited by the chroniclers because our country has achieved “a year 2021 of high standing” with in particular a qualification for this AFCON and the last round of qualifying for the “Qatar 2022” World Cup (zone Africa).

At the end of the draw made on August 17, 2021 in Yaoundé (Cameroon), the Eagles of Mali inherited group F (based in Limbé, west of Cameroon) of the final phase of CAN 2021 (from January 9 to February 6, 2022 in Cameroon) where they will face Tunisia, Mauritania and Gambia which thus offers a first participation in a final phase of CAN. The Eagles already started the competition last Wednesday (January 12, 2022) with a victory (1-0) against the chunk of the group, the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia. They will then face theScorpionsof the Gambia on January 16 at 5 p.m. and theMourabitounesfrom Mauritania on January 20 at 8 p.m.

A seemingly easy group for the men of coach Mohamed Magassouba. At least that is the prognosis of many columnists. Apart from Tunisia which is not a thunderbolt either and without minimizing Mauritania and Gambia, the Eagles must pass the first round without firing a shot. Especially since in addition to the first two of each group, the four best 3rd will be qualified for the round of 16.

«We want to push the Eagles to consecration“said coach Mohamed Magassouba when setting the objectives of his national team in Cameroon. Otherwise this technician, who is now one of the best playing on the continent, is aware that his selection is the real outsider of this competition which offers him the opportunity to take a step forward in his desire to impose himself among the best in the world. world.

Cited among the favorites of the competition, the Eagles have in any case a rank to hold in this 33rd edition of the African Cup of Nations (CAN). “Mali is a serious client for the final coronation. I think there is talent, youth and freshness in this Malian team…“, analyzed Nabil Djellit, columnist on Canal + Sport1, after the draw last August.

Indeed, ours do not lack assets to hold this rank because, with the blossoming of talents in recent years, technical management is almost spoiled for choice in all sectors. And especially that the Senior National Team now has this real finisher that we were still lacking: Ibrahima Kone ! The attacker ofSarpsborg 08(Norway) and former player of the Olympic Club of Bamako (COB) revealed himself to the public as an intractable artificer, a real fox of the penalty areas.

«I think we have a great chance. We just have to believe in ourselves. All of our adversaries are not unknown to us. We played in the previous AFCON against almost the same teams except Gambia“, had also declared the president of the Malian Football Federation (FEMAFOOT), Mamoutou Touré said”Bavious“, after the draw of the groups of the final phase. For him, “the shot is playable and it just takes determination, commitment and above all a very good preparation».

Otherwise, the dream is at the end of the means that the highest authorities will make available to the team so that it can properly prepare. But Bavieux, also wishes that “the Malians recognize themselves in this team so that everyone brings their little stone to the construction of the common edifice given that the African Cup of Nations is an extraordinary challenge“. This is why he urged “the whole of the sporting world, starting with journalists, supporters, actors, leaders to come together to work in synergy so that at the end there is a beautiful consecration for our country which needs it so much».

It is clear that this young selection needs to feel the breath of a united people singing in unison behind them to push them to surpass themselves in difficult times. It is not a question of putting unnecessary pressure on their shoulders by partisan analysts or sterile critics, but of carrying these young players who will mainly discover the CAN senior. Despite their talent and the skill of the coach, this inexperience is not an asset. But, with the talent, the will and above all the unconditional support of the Malians, they will be able to overcome all their handicaps.

So let’s join hands to make this 12th participation a great opportunity for consecration for Mohamed Magassouba and his foals, for Mali! The CAN-Total-Energies should be played in 2021. It has been postponed to 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Although being played in 2022, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has decided to maintain the CAN-Total-Energies2021.

Moussa Bolly

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