Home » U17 AFCON: Holders Cameroon opens title defense against brilliant Mali

U17 AFCON: Holders Cameroon opens title defense against brilliant Mali

by Lesley Ngwa
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  • Mali won the U17 AFCON in 2015 and 2017
  • Cameroon won the U17 AFCON in 2003 and 2019
  • Mali beat Cameroon 3-1 during the 2015 AFCON finals in Gabon
  • Mali beat 2011 winners Burkina Faso 1-0 during their opening game of this tournament while Cameroon was on standby due to the disqualification of South Sudan.

The U17 Lions of Cameroon will face their Malian counterparts in their first group game of the 2023 U17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) this Thursday at the 1956 stadium in Annaba, Algeria.

Coach Serge Mimpo’s team will be the last team to play their first game at the tournament after missing out in match day one due to the disqualification of their opponents South Sudan.

The defending champions are hoping to get off to a positive start against a brilliant Mali side that beat Burkina Faso in Match Day one and currently top the three-nations group.

This fixture will be one of the most attractive as the nations with two titles apiece to their credit clash in a remake of the second group game which Mali won 3-1 during the 2015 tournament in Gabon.

Cameroon’s Serge Mimpo’s pre-match comments;

“We really wanted to play this first match, but afterwards we moved on and we are preparing calmly. Everything is going well. We try to talk together about the shortcomings that need to be corrected before we face Mali. We are not afraid of anything. We saw the strengths and weaknesses of Mali during their first match and we prepared accordingly.”

“We have seen how Mali plays. They have certain strengths, especially on the right wing and in midfield. But, we have prepared accordingly and we have a plan that will help us win,” Cameroon’s Serge Mimpo said.

Mali’s Soumaïla Coulibaly’s pre-match comments;

“We will try to win the game because it is a group of three and a win will assure us of a top spot. We are focused on that. “We also came for the title. Even if they are the defending champions, we are also favourites as we have won the title twice too.”

The game is scheduled at 5PM in the Algerian coastal city of Annaba.

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