HomeSportSoccerGabon out to make history against Mali

Gabon out to make history against Mali

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Gabon will look to make history once more when they come up against Mali in hope of qualifying for an Africa Cup of Nations semifinal spot for the first time when the teams meet in Bata.

The match at the Estadio de Bata will be held on Sunday evening, with kick-off scheduled for 18:00 SA time.

The Panthers are riding on a wave of confidence as they look to extend their unbeaten record in the tournament when they play only their second quarterfinal match in the history of the Africa Cup of Nations.

The last time the Gabonese found themselves in this position was in 1996 when they qualified due to the withdrawal of Nigeria, and they will be hoping to continue providing the audiences and their vociferous fans with surprises.

In contrast, it has been a different scenario for Mali as they have looked shaky and unsure at the best of times.

Their group stage performances were far from convincing as they were trampled by Ghana, narrowly edged out debutants Botswana and gathered the full three points against Guinea, to see them finish second in their group.

It has been a long road for the Malians as their last AFCON campaign saw them crash out prematurely in the group stages in 2010, while their runners-up label has been a far cry away since 1972.

Nevertheless, the two African sides are expected to produce a tasty display of football, as they are both young, relatively inexperienced and itching for a taste of victory.

It will be a battle of the forwards in Libreville as Gabon will be looking to their leading goal scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, while Mali will be banking on the experience of Seydou Kieta to deliver the goods, like that of the match against Botswana.

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