Mali are looking good to qualify for the AFCON knockout stages. They are second in Group F and take on Mauritania who are bottom, having lost both their games so far. Mali have four points and that puts them behind suprise package Gambia who have the same number of points. Gambia take on Tunisia (three points earned so far) in their final group match. It'll be a big surprise if Tunisia don't win that game, so a victory for Mali over Mauritania should see them win the group. Mali began this campaign with a 1-0 win over Tunisia and followed that up with a 1-1 draw against Gambia. It should have been two wins out of two after Kone scored his second penalty of the tournament. However, Gambia drew level with a penalty of their own in the 90th minute. Mali haven't scored from open play but they are tough to score against. They'd gone seven games without conceding before that penalty was scored against them by Gambia. Only two goals have been conceded in their last nine games and both were in the 90th minute. Six of their last eight internationals have been won and they'll be confident of success here.
Mauritania have already been eliminated from AFCON 2022 (2021). Their campaign began with a surprise 1-0 loss to Gambia, who are ranked 47 places below them. That defeat was followed by a 4-0 beating by Tunisia. Going 2-0 down inside nine minutes wasn't the ideal start for Mauritania. This is their second time in the AFCON finals and they are yet to win a match. Mauritania have only won one of their last 14 games (a friendly won over Syria) and have gone four without a win. Only one goal has been scored in those four matches. Back Mali to win this match and be ahead at both half and full time. A side bet on a win to nil is a good idea too.