Mali produced three stunning goals as they thumped Africa Cup of Nations debutants Mauritania 4-1 on Monday.
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Who are the strongest teams in the expanded 24-team Africa Cup of Nations, and who faces an uphill struggle to advance past the group stage?
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The 24 qualifiers for the expanded 2019 Africa Cup of Nations are naming their 23-man squads for the showpiece tournament.
Some of the continent's less-heralded sides have made the most of the Africa Cup of Nations' expanded format.
South Africa head coach Des Ellis says her team prepared with all their might to face Mali, rather than risk missing out on the Women's World Cup.
Ghana have been made to wait until their final group game to book their spot in the AWCON semi-final after being defeated 2-1 by Mali in Accra.
The Mali international has completed a loan move to Emirates Club FC from Osmanlispor.
The Mali international became the first player since 2001 to score two or more in three consecutive top-flight games.
The Malian attacker will miss Troyes' game against Paris Saint-Germain after being punished for an altercation with coach Jean-Louis Garcia.
Mali striker Cheick Diabate needed just 12 minutes to endear himself to his new club's fans as they beat Crotone on Sunday.
Marc Wilmots' Elephants failed to trouble the Eagles in Bamako, opening the door for Morocco or Gabon to take top spot
Abdoulaye Doucoure's goal against Liverpool capped off an excellent all-round display for the Franco-Malian midfielder.
The Franco-Malian forward came off the bench to score one and contribute another in a 2-1 triumph.
The 32-year-old will move to the Indonesia Super Liga just over a month after he parted ways with Serie B side Ternana.
FIFA acts after Mali's sports minister "decided to dissolve the executive committee" of the national federation.
Uganda scored their first goal at the African Nations Cup since 1978 as a 1-1 Group D draw with Mali in Oyem ensured both teams were eliminated.
Asamoah Gyan became Ghana's all-time top scorer in the African Nations Cup as the Black Stars edged Mali 1-0 to book their place in the quarterfinals.
Egypt and Mali played out a goalless draw in their African Nations Cup Group D opener at Port Gentil.
Chelsea's Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel scored for Nigeria as they continued their perfect start to World Cup qualifying with a 3-1 win vs. Algeria.
Mali manager Alain Giresse has thanked Ivory Coast defender Serge Aurier for "saving the life'' of Moussa Doumbia.
Ivory Coast top Group C in their third-round World Cup qualifying campaign after coming from behind to win 3-1 at home to Mali.
Three of the five African teams at the 2014 World Cup have been drawn in the same group to qualify for the 2018 edition.
Senegal and Egypt qualified for the African Nations Cup thanks to wins against Burnundi and Tanzania.
Mustapha Yatabare scored in the 89th minute to give Mali a 1-0 win at Equatorial Guinea in African Nations Cup qualifying on Monday.