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HomeAfrica Cup Of NationsMali Coach And Captain Heap Praise On Bafana And Broos

Mali Coach And Captain Heap Praise On Bafana And Broos

Mali head coach Éric Chelle and captain Hamari Traore feel they have a mammoth task against Bafana Bafana but one they can overcome in their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations opener.

The West Africans will have massive support in the Group E opener at the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium on Tuesday evening, with the distance between their capital Bamako to Kohrogo, the same distance between Ivory Coast’s capital Abidjan, around 600kms.

As they border the AFCON hosts, the pressure intensifies to produce and while they aren’t completely in the know of the individual players, as most of the squad is based in the DStv Premiership, Chelle and Traore were buoyant ahead of the game.

“Yeah we know there’s a progressive football world, we have video analysts, we watched the matches and our technical staff will advise us,” Traore said in the pre-match press conference.

“First like I said they are a great nation, we come with humility, we don’t take them lightly, they won AFCON before, they are a big team as the coach said, but we’re aware of a strength of weaknesses, we are ready to fight tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, Chelle, an Ivorian-born former Mali international, now leading the squad in his first AFCON says the style of play produced by Broos is something to admire – but like any team, there are weaknesses they will look to get the better of.

“South Africa has a good team like all the players at AFCON it’s up to us to emerge [as winners],” he explained.

“I like this team, they like to play since Hugo Broos came they changed their system, they try to keep the ball and find mistakes from the opposition.

“I’m excited to play against South Africa [who have] good players, a good coach and technical staff – but as I said we have our strengths which we will try and use to exploit them.”

They face off against South Africa on Tuesday at 22h00.

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.
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