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Football Preview: Mali to Fight for Group top, Tunisia Needs a Win
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Mali, the only African team who have conceded not even one goal after the group matches is eyeing a top position in group A, while Tunisia needs a win to advance into the next stage in their matches scheduled Tuesday night.


Mali, who defeated hosts Greece 2-0 and managed a 0-0 draw against Mexico on August 11, have collected four points, the same as South Korea in the group.


The African Malian Eagles will have fight at least a draw for one more point to secure their place for the next stage, without the star player Mamadou Diallo, who has a one match ban after receiving a caution in the first round games.


Mali coach Cheick Oumar Kowe is likely to take an all-attacking strategy against the South Koreans, while he will have to try to relieve his players from the pressure from the burden of being a medal favorite.


On the other front in group C, Tunisia will have to fight a survival battle against Serbia and Montenegro with a good margin and also require a simultaneous defeat of Australia by title favorite Argentina, with a big score.


Two other African men's teams, Ghana and Morocco, are to fight for their chance to advance into the next stage on Wednesday.


Teams from African continent have gone into the spotlight at least four times in Olympic football tournament. Zambia led the way by beating European heavyweight Italy 4-0 in the preliminary round in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Ghana won the bronze medal in 1992 Barcelona games.


Africa's greatest achievement in Olympic are in the last two games, when a gold medal in the 1996 Atlanta was won by Nigeria, and the 2000 Sydney title was taken by Cameroon. 


(Xinhua News Agency August 17, 2004)


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