Mali Hoping To Snap Back Against Ghana

The Eagles were defeated 4-3 in their friendly match against Gabon and now intend to bounce back against the Black Stars in France on Tuesday.

Newly-appointed Mali coach Alain Giresse has admitted that his defence failed to live up to expectation during their friendly match against Gabon on Wednesday at the Pierre Brisson Stadium in Beauvais, north of Paris, France.

The Eagles lost 4-3 to the Panthers in a thrilling clash that saw Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hitting the back net twice to inspire his side’s eventual triumph.

“We took the lead twice but failed to safeguard it. That is a defensive problem that we need to work on ahead of our next friendly match against Ghana,” Giresse told Malian TV ORTM .

“It was a satisfactory game altogether because both teams played as if something great was at stake. I hope we can produce the same form against the Black Stars. However, we must fix the breaches in our back half to avoiding conceding unnecessary goals,” he said.

Ghana will face Mali at the Sebastien Charlety in Paris on Tuesday after playing Senegal on Saturday also in France.

In the absence of Cheick Diabate of Bordeaux, who is yet to return from injury layoff, the French coach included in his squad two new arrivals Moussa Marega and Adama Traore, both based in France. Mana Dembele of Ligue 2 side Nancy makes a comeback to the outfit.

Giresse is under pressure from the local media and fans to obtain a satisfactory outcome against the Black Stars after the 4-3 loss to Gabon.

“Giresse must win or at least draw against Ghana to earn a warm welcome”, one of the local tabloids published on its front page on Thursday.

Ghana coach Avram Grant on Tuesday handed late invitations to Richmond Boakye Yiadom and David Accam, who respectively replaced injured Baba Abdul Rahman and Mahatma Otoo, ahead of the friendly encounters with Senegal and Mali.

Asamoah Gyna is also sidelined for the above meetings.