TotalEnergies WCL: Holders AS Mande in danger of early exit at WAFU A women's qualifier

AS Mande v Malabo King6

AS Mande, champions of the West Africa Football Union (WAFU) Zone A women's clubs championship, must win their match against US Parcelles Assainies (USPA) on Friday to stand a good chance of advancing to the knock-out stages of the tournament.
The Malian side will take on the reigning champions of Senegal as they needed a last minute goal to hold Determine Girls from Liberia 1-1 in their opening match of the tournament in Monrovia on Wednesday.
Only a victory will be good for the Malian team if they want to keep all the chances of qualifying for the TotalEnergies CAF Women's Champions League against USPA.
The Senegalese side have been boosted by players who took part in the recent TotalEnergies Women's Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco last month.
Asked after the draw against Determine Girls, AS Mandé coach Moustapha Laico Traoré was quite satisfied with their performance in the game, declaring that securing "a draw against an opponent playing at home in the last moments of the match, it is not a bad thing.
''We saw a great Liberian team different from the one that played last year (a tournament played in Mindelo in Cape Verde) but we have to win our next game to hope to qualify'', Traore said.
“The draw means that we will play the first two games of the tournament, the objective remains the same: qualification for the final tournament and everything will be done in this direction,” insisted coach Traoré.
USPA coach Séréna Léna Gomis is cautious as they approach the difficult match against the Malian side, counting on the results of the recent results of matches involving both countries.
"Even if we go with a psychological advantage, after beating the Malian U20s in qualifying for the World Cup in the category and after eliminating their senior national team," Gomis told CAFOnline.com.
"We must bear in mind that we eliminated Mali in the U20s at the World Cup and at the AFCON seniors too. It will be an epic match but it will always remain within the framework of football," she said.
Gomis said such a high level of competition among clubs in the region will promote the growth of the women's game in the region and Africa.
''It's the most determined team that will come out of this and we will rely on all the girls but also and especially on the eight who were in Morocco recently for the African Cup of Nations'', she said.
"We will rely on the experience of our internationals who come from the African Cup of Nations and who will bring us a lot," said the coach, a former Senegalese international.
If the USPA will not be able to count on all the players who took part in the WAFCON like the defender, Mbayang Sow who signed in Marseille in French D2, the group can count on the new nugget of Senegalese women's football, Hapsatou Malado Diallo .
Aged 17, Diallo was the revelation of the WAFCON in Morocco causing the penalties that Senegal used against Uganda and Burkina Faso to win 1-0 in both matches.