AWCON 2018: Can Mali go beyond the group stages?

Accra- Mali women’s national football team is nicknamed The Female Eagles and would be making their seventh appearance in the African Women Cup of Nations (AWCON), this time with high expectations of making it into the last three.

With their first qualification coming in the year 2002, and having played in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2016 editions, the Female Eagles best performance has been reaching the knock-out phase of the competition so far.

The side ranked 86th in the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) Women’s World Rankings have never qualified for the FIFA World Cup and the 2018 edition of the competition presents them with another opportunity to achieve the enviable dream of making an appearance at the World Cup in France.

The Female Eagles would be led by Aly Elkebich as head coach and would bank their hopes on the experience of captain Yacouba Sylla to make history.

Mali, who qualified to the competition on technical grounds, were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Ivory Coast, but it was enough for Mali to progress on away goals, after the first leg had ended 2-2.

The Female Eagles would play Cameroon in their first game of the tournament, before Ghana and Algeria in a group that would be difficult to sail through.

However, with the game of football being an uncertain one, trust the West Africans to count on that to make progress to the knock out stages of the competition.

Source: Ghana News Agency