Morocco women's team and their Malian counterparts played out a 0-0 draw in their last Aisha Buhari Cup match at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan on Sunday, September 19.
The Atlas Lionesses were cruising from a shock 1-0 win over Cameroon, while the Eagles were looking to bounce back from a late 2-0 loss to hosts Nigeria.
Knowing that they recorded two wins (3-2 and 3-0) in April 2021, the Moroccans struggled to match the physical Malians, who were desperate to avoid three defeats in a row.
Despite creating two clear chances, Reynald Pedros appeared satisfied with the draw as they maintained their unbeaten run to in straight four in 2021 under the watch of the French tactician.
As for Mali, their poor run of form continued as they failed to win for the fourth time in their last four matches ahead of their TotalEnergies Women's Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
What They Said
Morocco coach Reynald Pedros
"Generally I'm very happy about the game. The girls were able to control the game despite the Malians were very physical. We had two chances but my girls failed to keep their calm in front of goal. We also had two clear penalties that wasn't given. We had only two weeks to prepare for the competition and it was very clear that they couldn't match the physical level of our opponents. However, I think they performed technically in the two games and getting four points from two games were wonderful results for the us. Playing Cameroon was not an easy game but we came all out and conquered. We also have five players in Europe that are not with us now. When we get them back, the team will be able to blend together."
Mali coach Saloum Mohamed Houssein
We (Mali) needed victory in the game, unfortunately we couldn't create the chances. I'm very disappointed. Everyone came here in search of victories but we lost our first game (1-0 to Nigeria) and fought hard to earn this one point (against Morocco). We will still go back home and focus on preparing better for upcoming matches. I want to thank the players for their efforts. We are grateful for this tournament because, at the end, it's all to our benefit. Definitely there's a lot of work ahead of us. The TotalEnergies African Women's Cup of Nations qualifiers is just less than a month away. With this tournament, we will go back home and look at what we do right and did not ahead of the qualifying series."
Mali striker Aissata Traore
"We played against Nigeria in our first game and they are one of the best teams in Africa. We lost to them and there's no shame about it. Before our game against Morocco, we only had two days of rest. We don't feel bad about our performance because we are a young team and still in a developmental process."