We will face Black Queens squarely — Mali coach

Author: Beatrice Laryea
Coach Saloum Mohamed Houssein (middle) addressing the media

MALI coach, Saloum Mohamed Houssein, says his side will not be underdogs in their second Group A game against the host nation, Ghana, pledging to fix the broken pieces after his side’s 1-2 loss to Cameroun last Saturday.

Aissata Traore opened the scoring in the 56th minute to put the Malians in the lead but the Camerounians responded strongly with goals from Meffometou Tcheno Falone and Nchout Njoya Ajara in the 70th and 72nd minutes respectively to turn the tide in their favour.

After the match,Coach Houssein was confident his side would bounce back against the Black Queens tomorrow. “We lacked a bit of concentration and that is what caused our lost be we have not lost courage because we are still in the competition.

“The fact that we lost to Cameroun does not mean we will succumb to Ghana in our next game. We are going to train more and we will continue to fight to at least pick a point,” he stressed.

He admitted the Les Aigles Femelles were a bit naive and allowed their opponents to punish them for taking their foot off the accelerator.

“We tried our best to play a very good game but we could not get deeply involved with the attack. In the second half we were able to score a goal but we found it difficult to make our mark but we will try our best in our second game.”

After the goal, Mali then set to defend their lead allowing Cameroun to throw everything at them and were rewarded with the equaliser when a corner kick by Nchout was poorly cleared by the Malian defence for Mefomettou to tap home the rebound.

The Camerounians were not done yet as two minutes later, Aboudi burst forward with the ball before laying a pass to Nchout who side-footed it into the net for the winning goal.

Mali have never gone beyond the group stage in all their seven appearances at the tournament.