Mali face South Africa on Tuesday night in their Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) opener at the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium in Ivory Coast.
The Eagles have suffered successive elimination in the Round of 16 of the last two editions and will desire to achieve further heights this time around.
South Africa however missed out on the last edition in Cameroon, and approach this tournament off a 0-0 draw with Lesotho.
Meanwhile, Eric Chelle’s men beat Guinea Bissau 6-2 in a pre-tournament friendly and are unbeaten in their last five games.
Bafana Bafana edged past the Eagles in a friendly back in 2019, yet Hugo Broos’ side has only one win in their last five matches and will need to prove themselves if they want to make it past the group stages of this competition.
Yves Bissouma and Hamari Traore are expected to lead this Mali side while Percy Tau is one to keep a close eye on for Bafana Bafana.
The match starts at 8:00 pm.