While Ghana are looking to confirm their place in the last four, Mali are eyeing their first three points of the ongoing Africa Women Cup of Nations when the two teams face off against each other in Accra on Tuesday.
With a 1-0 triumph over Algeria on matchday one, a second successive win will hand the Black Queens their ticket to the semi-finals, ahead of the final Group A game against Cameroon on Friday.
Mali, on the other hand, are looking to turn their fortunes around following a 2-1 defeat to the Indomitable Lionesses. A second defeat for Les Aiglonnes will confirm the West Africans for an early exit.
|Game||Ghana v Mali|
|Date||Tuesday, November 20|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In Ghana, the game will be televised live on GBC, SuperSport and Kwes Free Sports.
|TV channel||Online stream|
|SuperSport 9 East||N/A|
|Kenya (local TV channel)||Online stream|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Fafali Dumahisi, Patricia Mantey, Nana Ama Asantewaa|
|Defenders||Gladys Amfobea, Linda Eshun, Janet Egyir, Ellen Coleman, Cynthia Adobea, Faustina Ampah, Philicity Asuako|
|Midfielders||Asantewaa, Sumaila, Acheampong, Addo, Kusi, Essiful, Okyere, Boakye, Niber-Lawrence|
|Forwards||Samira Suleman, Jane Ayieyam|
Although captain Elizabeth Addo and Iceland-based striker Samira Suleman did not find their rhythm against Algeria, leading to their unceremonious substitution, the duo are expected to maintain their places in the starting XI against Mali.
They will once again be entrusted with leading the attack, albeit in a sharper manner, after the team squandered lots of scoring chances in the first game. The profligacy was a big mar on what could have been a great display. However, a better conversion rate is expected of the No.10 and No.9 on Tuesday.
Goalkeeper Patricia Mantey and midfielder Priscilla Okyere have been passed fit for the upcoming game depite picking up knocks in the opener.
Probable Ghana XI: Mantey, Amfobea, Eshun, Ampah, Egyir, Acheampong, Okyere, Sumaila, Boakye, Addo, Suleman
|Goalkeepers||Adoudou Konate, Goundo Samake, Hawa Keita|
|Defenders||Coulouba Sogore, Kani Konte, Aminata Doucoure, Aissatou Diadhiou, Djenaba Baradji|
|Midfielders||Fatoumata Doumbia, Yakare Niakate, Binta Diarra, Salimata Diarra, Lala Dicko, Aissata Traore, Bintou Koite|
|Forwards||Sebe Coulibaly, Fatoumata Diarra, Bassira Toure, Hawa Tangara, Agueissa Diarra, Maimouna Traore|
Considering that on one hand, Mali desperately need a win to get back into the qualification race, and on the other hand, the side will have to avoid defeat at all cost to avoid an early exit from the championship, it will be interesting to see what approach Mali coach Mohammed Saloum Houssein takes for the Ghana duel.
Nevertheless, the coach will have to work on tightening his defence after they let in two loose goals against Cameroon.
In a game where they are likely to play on the back foot for the most part, the likes of Fatoumata Diarra and Bassira Toure will also have to be at the best on the day in attack to make every single scoring chance count.
Probable Algeria XI: Konate, Sogore, Konte, Coulibaly, Doumbia, F. Diarra, Toure, B. Diarra, S. Diarra, Traore, Koite
With three previous meetings between the two sides at the Awcon all going in favour of Ghana, the hosts are hoping to show their dominance one more time.
The Black Queens registered a 2-0 win at Nigeria 2002, a 1-0 triumph at Nigeria 2006 before sealing a 3-1 victory at the last championship in Cameroon 2016.
“I played against Mali at the 2016 Awcon and this is literally the same team we played against the other time,” Ghana midfielder Priscilla Okyere said at Tuesday’s pre-match presser.
“We have been watching their matches to help us prepare. They’re physically stronger than us but we’ll determine the pace of the game and force them to play to our rhythm.”
For Mali coach Houssein, a second straight defeat will be deadly.
“We can’t afford to slip up for the second time,” the boss said.
“Our defence wasn’t strong the last time out but we’ve corrected our mistakes. I’m sure you’ll see an improvement in that department.”
Ghana currently sit second on Group A’s table, owing to an inferior number of goals scored as compared to Cameroon, while Mali sit bottom of the standings.
The top three teams from the Awcon will qualify for the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup in France.