Unbeaten Morocco, Mali settle for barren draw in 6-Nation Invitational in Lagos

By Harry Awurumibe, Africa’s No.1 Women’s Football Journalist

Moroccan goalkeepers having a word with a member of the technical crew before the start of 6-Nation Invitational Tournament in Lagos in September 2021.

Host of next edition of the African Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON),  Morocco and Mali senior women’s football teams on Sunday played out a barren draw in both countries’ final match of the 6-Nation Invitational Football Tournament inside the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan Lagos.

Both the Atlas Lionesses of Morocco and Mali’s  Female Eagles (Les Aiglonnes) approached the match on a cautious note as they were not ready to commit much and fell short at full time.
Aside the occasional forays upfront by the Moroccans early in the first half, there was nothing to distinguish between both teams till the half time just as the second half did not produce the winner either.
But Mali will be the happier of the two teams as the West Africans had recovered from their earlier 2-0 defeat by Nigeria to eke out one point from the tie against Morocco.
Morocco’s French coach, Reynald Pedros, apparently wanted to test some of his wards hence he made four changes to his  line up that defeated Cameroon by a lone goal last  Thursday at the same venue.
Pedros replaced Jraidi Ibtissam, Amani Salma, Nakkach Elodie Nahla, and Hassani Marwa who started Morocco’s first game with  Boukhami Siham, Badri Najat, Salmi Rania, and Mssoudy Sanaa who were substitutes in the match against Cameroon.
His Malian counterpart Mohamed Houssein Salloum kept faith with the same team that suffered a 2-0 defeat in the hands Nigeria’s Super Falcons last Wednesday with Karentaq Fatoumata, Traore Maimouna, Coulouba Shogore, Dembele Fatou, Koite Bintou, Diarra Binta, Coulibaly Sebe, Kone Oumou, Diarra Ageuissa, Traore Aissata, and Konate Aboudou retaining their starters shirt.

Mali’s Les Aiglonnes (Female Eagles)

With this in mind, Coach Mohamed did not want to fail the second test hence the dog fight continued except in few occasions when both threatened each other just as Mali’s Traore Aissata’s through ball to Diarra Agueissa in the 22nd minute nearly caused problems although it was well saved by Errmichi Khadija who rushed out early to prevent Agueissa from causing any havoc.

Later on Mssoudy Sanaa’s header went wide for Mali’s goal kick to the delight of Mali goalkeeper  Karentao Fatoumata even as a defensive mistake from Moroccan, Boukhami Siham gifted Kone Oumou the chance to score the opening goal in the 52nd minute but her effort went wide.
Despite the efforts by both teams to carry the day, none was able to achieve the objective of winning the game untill full time. By this result Morocco ended the 64-Nation Invitational Tournament with four points from two matches while Nigeria and South Africa are on three points each after winning their first match against Mali and Ghana respectively.

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