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Mali, Equatorial Guinea Eyeing Quarter-Final Spot

Mali are hoping to beat Equatorial Guinea and reach the quarterfinals of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations when they lock horns on Wednesday in the last sixteen.

The Eagles have enjoyed their best form so far in the tournament and will be gunning for glory to remain unbeaten.

Led by local coach Mohamed Magassouba, they are fresh from a hard fought 2-0 win over Mauritania in their last Group stage match.

Mali also overcame Tunisia and Gambia to set up a clash against Equatorial Guinea who are one of the surprise packages of the tournament thus far.

The Eagles will be relying on an excellent pair of midfielders in Amadou Haidara and Yves Bissouma, besides the likes of Hamari Traoré and Kalifa Koulibaly have shown very good form since the start of the competition.

“This group has matured, we adapt to the reality of the match. Behind self-sacrifice, will and power, we play to make our people proud,’ said coach Magassouba during pre-match conference.

“We will face a good team from Equatorial Guinea. We respect them but we will play to win. I always tell my players we play to win; we want this cup. Mali is one of the best nations in African football, it takes a continental trophy to top it off.”

Equatorial Guinea will be looking to better their 2015 performance when they the finished fourth in the tournament.

In their Group assignments, they recovered from an opening loss to Ivory Coast by sensationally defeating reigning champions Algeria, followed by a clutch 1-0 win over Sierra Leone last Thursday.

The Nzalang Nacional will be hoping to upset the Malians whom they have met in three previous matches, dating back to their first clash in 2009.

“We are motivated to play, and will just apply our system with our way of doing things. The players are concerned with the same state of mind. We don’t play according to the opponent, each match has its story,” said Equatorial Guinea coach Juan Micha in pre-match conference.

“ We respect the teams but we go for the win without fear because we have worked hard, we have shown that we can go further.”

The match will be staged at Limbe Omnisport Stadium in Limbe on Wednesday evening, at 16h00 GMT.

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