It was 50 years ago that Mali were the runners up in the Africa Cup of Nations. A win over Gambia will see them into the last 16 of this year's tournament. They began their campaign with a 1-0 win over Tunisia, taking them second in Group F. It was a penalty scored early in the second half that saw them get the three points against a side ranked 23 places above them. Now the world number 53 side take on Gambia who are down at 150. Mali are still in with a chance of making it to their first ever World Cup finals later this year. They won their qualifying group in style with 16 points from six games, scoring 11 goals and not conceding one. They come into this game against Gambia unbeaten in their last seven internationals, winning six of them and all with clean sheets.Their last meeting with Gambia saw them win 4-0 in the Africa Nations Championship.
Gambia caused a big shock with their 1-0 win over Mauritania. They may well struggle to get points from Mali and Tunisia but have a decent chance of being one of the four best third placed sides. It would be a great achievement for them if they did get through to the knockout stages of this tournament. This is their first time in the finals, having won Group D to qualify. They had lost their previous two games before a 10th minute goal by Ablie Jarrow gave them that surprise victory. It's going to be tough against a Mali side that seems to have forgotten what it's like to concede a goal. Bet on Mali to win, with a side bet on them winning to nil.