All eyes will be on the Stade Prince Moulay Abdallah as Morocco and Mali go toe-to-toe with each other on Tuesday night. As both teams battle for a place in the final, it'll be interesting to see which of these sides will be left standing after 90 minutes.
It's important to note that Morocco and Mali aren't just contending with each other for a slot in the U23 AFCON final, they are also fighting for a place in the Summer Olympics in Paris next year. The winners of this match will automatically earn a place in Paris. On the other hand, the losers can still qualify for the Olympics if they win the third-place match on Friday.
This is why we love football.
Despite masterminding Niger's exit from the U23 AFCON, the Malian side demonstrated great sportsmanship.
Mali will face Morocco, with a spot in the final up for grabs.https://t.co/3J8qvTtcY5
— Sports Brief (@sportsbriefcom) July 2, 2023
Morocco finished at the top of the group A table; they had a perfect three wins from three, and were the only team to win all of their games. Meanwhile Mali accumulated six points from three group matches, finishing second in Group B.
Prediction 1: Morocco to win
To be fair, Mali had a solid run in the group stage; as they won two of three matches, scoring five times. However, Morocco have been unstoppable recently; they are coming into this match on the back of four consecutive victories. It's also worth mentioning that Morocco have the advantage of playing at home, being the host nation. Although this will likely be a tightly-contested fixture, we are backing the hosts to come out on top.
Prediction 2: Morocco to score first
🏆| TotalEnergies U23 Africa Cup of Nations Morocco 2023 |
MOROCCO 🇲🇦 🆚 🇲🇱 MALI
🏟 Moulay Abdellah Sports Complex, Rabat
Tuesday 🕗 9PM (Gmt+1) pic.twitter.com/Smj4se4OJH
— Izem Anass (@Izemanass) July 2, 2023
We've established that Morocco have won four matches in a row; it's also worth mentioning that they tend to score first when they play. In fact, Issame Charai's boys drew first blood in six of their last seven matches. This is in contrast with Mali, who conceded first in two of their three group games. All things considered, we are fairly confident that Morocco will open the scoring today.
Prediction 3: both teams to score
Finally, let's take a look at the ‘BTTS' market for our last Morocco vs Mali prediction. It's worth noting that Morocco scored more goals than any other team in the group stages, as they found the net eight times in three matches. That said, the host nation has been consistent in goal-scoring terms; they scored in nine consecutive matches across all competitions. Likewise, Mali finished as the joint second high-scoring side with five goals. Given that Mali also scored in six of their last seven matches, we should expect goals at both ends.
U23 Africa Cup of Nations
⚽️: 🇳🇬Peter Etebo – 5
⚽️: 🇳🇬Etebo Oghenekaro – 5
⚽️: 🇪🇬Mustafa Mohamed – 4
What’s your predictions? pic.twitter.com/BFAL6xBeKr
— António Mango (@AntonioMango4) July 3, 2023
Morocco vs Mali head to head
It may interest you to know that Morocco and Mali met four years ago at the qualifying rounds of the 2019 U23 AFCON competition. The first leg of that tie ended in a 1-1 stalemate, while Mali won the reverse fixture at home by a lone goal. With that victory, Mali advanced to the main tournament where they crashed out in the group stage.
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 months ago