THU 14 SEPTEMBER 2017, 15:00 , CAPE COAST SPORTS STADIUM

0 Mali
VS
0 Nigeria

Nigeria, Mali open group phase campaigns

Nigeria, Mali open group phase campaigns
Ariwachukwu Emmanuel of Nigeria clears ball from Mohamed Sesay of Sierra Leone during 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations match between Nigeria and Sierra Leone at Cape Coast Sports Stadium in Cape Coast, Ghana on 11 September 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by Staff Reporter

Wednesday Sep 13, 2017. 12:00

Nigeria and Mali will kick-off the group phase of the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations when they meet at Nduom Sports Stadium in Elmina on Thursday afternoon, kick-off at 15h00 local time.

Nigeria sealed their place in the last eight of the competition thanks to a 2-0 win over Sierra Leone on Monday. Moses Okoro and Moses Peter scored late goals for the Super Eagles to take them to victory in their last 16 knockout tie.

Coach Salisu Yusuf will be looking for an improved showing from his side as they target a fast start to the group stage, which will also see them take on Guinea and hosts Ghana by next midweek.

Mali also left it late against Mauritania, as they needed a late brace from Moussa Kone to secure a 3-1 win in their last 16 clash earlier in the week.

The Eagles coach Nouhoum Diane was pleased with his side’s showing against their neighbours, but says it’s “time for hard work and good preparations” ahead of the group stage.

Nigeria and Mali have met in nine previous matches, according to FIFA statistics. The Super Eagles have claimed five wins - compared to just one for Mali - and outscored their opponents 12 goals to five in the process.

Nigeria v Mali, head-to-head

MALI v NIGERIA

Eagles fail to soar in goalless draw

Eagles fail to soar in goalless draw
Ba Koffi Ouattara of Mali challenged by Aremu Afeez Olalekan of Nigeria during 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations match between Mali and Nigeria at Cape Coast Sports Stadium in Cape Coast, Ghana on 14 September 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by Staff Reporter

Thursday Sep 14, 2017. 19:02

Neither Eagle could soar as Mali and Nigeria played to a goalless draw in the opening Group A match of the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Thursday, September 14.

The first shot on goal came in the eighth minute when a goalmouth scramble inside the Nigerian box fell to Mohamed Traore, but the Eagles attacker volleyed over the target from 16-yards out.

Ten minutes later the Super Eagles had their first shot on goal when Uche Akas fired a stinging 22-yard free-kick into the arms of the Malian keeper.

In the 33rd minute Nigeria came close to scoring again when Stephen Eze met a corner-kick with a strong header, but his ten-yard effort was well-saved by the goalkeeper.

Neither side could break the deadlock before the half time whistle.

The second half started very slowly with the first attempt on goal only coming on the hour mark when Boubacar Samassekou met a free-kick from the left, but his ten-yard header sailed over the Nigerian goal.

In the 69th minute Moussa Kone was afforded a great chance to score when he drove into the box, but with just Ikechukwu Ezenwa to beat he fluffed his shot and the Super Eagles keeper made a comfortable save.

A minute later Olamileka Aniyikaye came to the rescue for Nigeria when he cleared a 12-yard shot from Mandala Konte off the goalline with his head.

Nigeria threw players forward in the final ten minutes of the game and nearly stole the win in the 85th minute when Friday John met a free-kick from the left, but his 14-yard header skimmed the wrong side of the crossbar.

The match ended goalless.

Nigeria’s next Group A match will take place on Saturday, September 16 against Guinea while Mali will face Ghana on the same day.

Mali (0) 0
Nigeria (0) 0

Teams

Mali coach: Nouhoum Diane

Mali: 16. Diarra, 13. I Samake, 4 Samassekou, 15. I Traore, 14. L Samake, 17. M Traore (2. Bah 64’), 6. Konte, 8. Coulibaly, 7. Malle (10. Niangadou 77’), 11. Kone, 9. Kida (18. Dieng 65’).

Nigeria coach: Salisu Yusuf

Nigeria: 1. Esenwa, 2. Okoro, 6. Eze, 5. Ariwachukwu, 3. Akas, 4Aremu, 8. Ifeanyi (17. Ashadi 62’), 10. Ali, 7. John, 14. Gabriel (9. Okpotu 76’), 18. Eduwo (11. P Moses 61’).

Starting Lineup

Mali : Djigui Diarra, Moussa Coulibaly, Issaka Samake, Amara Malle, Mandala Konte, Boubacar Samassekou, Moussa Kone, Issouf Traore, Oumar Kida, Lassana Samake, Mohamed Traore

Nigeria : Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Akas Uche Chima, Olalekan Afeez Aremu, Kingsley Eduwo, Aniyikaye Adeleye Olamilekan, Moses Osadebamwen Okoro, Friday Ubong John, Gabriel Okechukwu, Rabiu Ali, Ifeanyi Ifeanyi, Stephen Eze

Live Commentary

1' The match is underway!
11' Aniyikaye Adeleye Olamilekan (Nigeria) is cautioned.
45 + 1' The referee brings the first half to an end.
46' The second half is underway
61' Nigeria: Peter Eneji Moses replaces Kingsley Eduwo
62' Nigeria: Abanum Destiny Ashadi replaces Ifeanyi Ifeanyi
64' Mali: Salime El Hadji Bah replaces Oumar Kida
65' Mali: Aliou Dieng replaces Mohamed Traore
68' Salime El Hadji Bah (Mali) is cautioned.
76' Nigeria: Okpotu Anthony replaces Gabriel Okechukwu
77' Mali: Goune Niangadou replaces Amara Malle
85' Issaka Samake (Mali) is cautioned.
90 + 3' The referee blows the whistle for Full Time.

Match Statistics

MATCH VENUE REFEREE
GROUP STAGE CAPE COAST SPORTS STADIUM
MALI GOALS NIGERIA GOALS
CAUTIONS DISMISSALS CAUTIONS DISMISSALS
2 1
MALI STARTING LINEUP NIGERIA STARTING LINEUP
Goalkeeper
0
Goalkeeper
1
Defender
85'
0
Defender
5
Defender
0
Midfielder
77'
0
0
Midfielder
0
Midfielder
17
Midfielder
0
Midfielder
76'
14
Midfielder
0
Midfielder
62'
10
Midfielder
0
Midfielder
61'
15
Midfielder
0
Midfielder
64'
0
Midfielder
11
Forward/Striker
65'
0
Midfielder
3
SUBSTITUTIONS
Salime El Hadji Bah
Midfielder
64'
0
Peter Eneji Moses
Midfielder
61'
16
Aliou Dieng
Midfielder
65'
0
Abanum Destiny Ashadi
Defender
62'
0
Goune Niangadou
Midfielder
77'
0
Okpotu Anthony
Midfielder
76'
18
CARDS
Salime El Hadji Bah
Midfielder
68'
0
Aniyikaye Adeleye Olamilekan
Midfielder
11'
0
Issaka Samake
Defender
85'
0
KEY
Goal
Penalty Missed
Yellow Card
Substitute IN
Own Goal
Penalty Shootout Goal
Yellow / Red Card
Substitute OUT
Penalty
Penalty Shootout Miss
Red Card
Injury