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PRE-MATCH PRESSER: Every word from Otto Addo ahead of Mali game

1 month ago
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Ghana Coach Otto Addo took his seat in the press conference room at Stade du 26-Mars in Bamako to handle his pre-match media duties before our 2026 FIFA World Cup Group I qualifier against Mali on Thursday.

With the Group I ticket up for grabs, Otto Addo revealed his feelings going into the game, as well as discusses how his team aims for the points against one of the best teams on the African continent and the quality of the Black Stars.

Here is everything he had to say:

On his mood going into the game in Mali

I am happy to be here. It’s a very important match for us. We are one point behind Mali in the Group and we have to win, this will be the best to guarantee our chances to qualify for the World Cup. But we know it’s going to be very, very tough. Mali has a very, very strong team. They showed recently in their games against Nigeria and Cote D’Ivoire how good they are.

On quality of Mali

They have a lot of young talents in their team and in the FIFA Rankings; they are above us so Mali is a great team. It’s difficult for us to beat them but we have to try. They are one point above us, we have a good team as well but in the FIFA rankings they are above us so these show how good and competitive they are. They showed in the last game against Nigeria how good they are and also in the AFCON when they played against Ivory Coast they were very, very unlucky. So for us, they are a very, very strong team but we have the possibility to still beat them. We also have a strong team and it’s going to be an equal measure

On game plan

It’s difficult to say. Surely we have a plan as regards how we want to play. We have observed them well. Almost all the players’ play in the Ligue 1, they are very, very strong. We have our ideas but surely I can’t tell you what we are going to do to win this match.

On readiness for Mali

Surely I think we are ready for the game. I know it’s always a short time for the preparations because players are coming from long seasons. So we had one good week. I am very, very satisfied on how they understood me on how we want to play. Like I said it’s going to be difficult.

On comparison between this game and the one against Nigeria in 2022

I compare this match a little bit to when I took over and we played against Nigeria. We had two matches then and we needed to qualify. This is going to be a tough match away in Mali, a country that have produced really, really good players like Haidara and Doumbia and so on. We know it’s going to be tough but we also have the quality to compete against them. Although we didn’t have a good AFCON, I think they are 20 places or so above us in the FIFA Ranking but I think we have the players to compete against them to get the three points out of Mali.

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