Uganda vs Mali: Match Preview

  • Uganda-Mali

Uganda vs Mali: Match Preview

Uganda became the first team to exit the tournament when they conceded a late goal to lose 1-0 to Egypt last time out. Mali are still alive, but only just and must win this game and hope Ghana do them a big favour by beating Egypt in the other fixture.

Of the two sides Mali have a little more quality than Uganda. They’d have been targeting this game for a while as the game they were most likely to win at this tournament and having put up a creditable showing against the two stronger sides, they’ll be determined to do that, even if it doesn’t see them through.

Mali came into the tournament having suffered just 4 defeats in 25 internationals and it’s not like they’ve dodged all the strong teams. They’ve beaten the likes of Ivory Coast, Tunisia and Burkina Faso over the last 12 months and have a good record in this competition, having reached the Semi-Finals in 2012 and 2013 so there is reason to think they’ll come out on top here against an inexperienced Ugandan side.

With both sides yet to score at the tournament it promises to be a low-scoring contest but Mali have a few players capable of making things happen, not least Crystal Palace winger Bakary Sako, who should get more time on the ball in this match. Uganda haven’t featured at an African Cup of Nations since 1978 and they’ve looked just a bit short on quality, certainly in attacking areas. Mali will have to work hard to break them down but they shouldn’t have much to worry about at the other end.

Uganda have failed to score in 7 of their last 9 internationals and have lost all of their last 4 games against African opposition to nil.


The sides last met in an African Nations Championship match this time last year. The game finished 2-2, although only featured domestic-based players. The sides had rarely met prior to that.


6 of Uganda’s last 10 matches have finished with 1-0 scorelines. They’ve lost both games at this tournament 1-0. Mali have won 8 of their last 15 matches, losing just 4.


Uganda have done as well as could realistically have been expected in their opening two games so wholesale changes are unlikely. Powerful attacking midfielder Tony Mawejje could be a key man for them here.


Winger Yatabaré may be dropped in favour of Lille youngster Yves Bissouma. There could be other changes too as Mali look to improve their goal threat. Forward Kalifa Coulibaly could also be included if they opt to roll the dice and go for the win they need.