Mali coach Diané Nouhoum has expressed utter sorrow after his side’s 1-0 loss to Mauritania at the TotalEnergies African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Algeria.
Nouhoum blamed the loss on the fine margins of the beautiful game and said that his side did not deserve to loss on the night.
“We are quite disappointed. We really wanted to win this game. This is what football is about. Football is in the details and that is how we lost the game,” Nouhoum told the media in the post-match press conference on Tuesday night at the Miloud Hadefi Stadium in Oran.
“Mauritania is not a bad team. I have seen what they have been able to do but based on this game, I do not think that they were the better team but that we lost the game in the details.
“In the first half, we had the control of the ball but in the second half, at a certain point, we lost focus. We started playing backwards instead of going forward.
“We had three opportunities where we could have scored but things are not easy in football. Players need to understand that this is a different level. You do not get as many opportunities as you want. Mauritania had an opportunity and they seized it.”
This is the second time that Mali have failed to make it out of the group stages in the five editions that they have participated in.
The first time was back in 2011 when they debuted at the tournament organized for locally based players in Sudan but went on to reach the quarter-finals in 2014 in South Africa.
The Eagles reached the finals in 2016 in Rwanda and 2020 in Cameroon losing to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Morocco in that order.