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2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Mali’s Traore assures 'We have means and will' to see off Tunisia

11:45 PM MYT 27/03/2022
Hamari Traore Mali
The West Africans are trailing by a single goal after losing the first leg game at home on Friday

Mali captain Hamari Traore has assured the nation that they have the means to beat Tunisia and qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Mali lost the first-leg encounter 1-0 in Bamako on Friday and face a rather big challenge to beat the Carthage Eagles on their own turf and book the World Cup ticket.

"We have the means and the will to do it, to succeed in this historic qualification," Traore told CafOnline.

"The players got their jerseys wet. We weren't able to take advantage of our highlights.

"I'm going to take this opportunity to congratulate the public who came out en masse, it's just a false start and I hope the public will continue to support us.

On his part, Tunisia head coach Jalel Kadri has urged his players to forget their away victory and concentrate on fighting for a win at home.

"At this level, it is the Tunisian experience in this kind of competition that made the difference, and this experience requires us to maintain the same state of mind during the return leg," Kadri said.

"Nothing is decided yet. We will remain very calm, very focused because it will be another match, even if we have a slight advantage.

"This victory will not matter if we do not confirm it in the return leg. We know that it will be even more difficult and that is why we will forget this victory on the way."

Revisiting their win against the West Africans, Kadri stated what they must do on Tuesday in order to confirm their place in the global competition.

"Mali have great players and, despite playing in numerical inferiority, it posed problems and that is why we must remain vigilant," the tactician added.

"We won this match in Bamako thanks to our capital experience and tactical maturity.

"Despite the quality of the Malian players, the Tunisian players took advantage of their awareness of tactics and their experience in this kind of competition."