By Monsurah Olatunji

Nigeria will take on Les Aigles of Mali in another top-grade international friendly match in the Moroccan city of Marrakech on Tuesday.
On Friday, the Super Eagles defeated the 10-man Black Stars of Ghana 2-1 in Marrakesh, their first game since blowing a first-half lead to lose 2-1 against hosts Ivory Coast in the AFCON showpiece back in February.
On the other hand, the Eagles of Mali defeated Mauritania 2-0 to continue their excellent recent record.
Both sides have met 11 times since their first encounter in 1960 with the Super Eagles having dominated their opponents, with a 6-3-2 win-draw-loss record.
The last time Nigeria lost to Mali was in September 1975, a 4-1 reverse in an international friendly. However, they’ve gone on an eight-match unbeaten run against the Eagles since then, with five wins and three draws.
The two nations last met in May 2016 in an international friendly, though, when a second-half strike from Kelechi Iheamacho handed the Super Eagles a 1-0 victory.
Apart from their nail-biting quarterfinals defeat to hosts Cote d’Ivoire at the AFCON, the Malians are on a 12-game unbeaten run – dating back to a 1-0 loss to Gambia in March 2023.
During that run, they defeated South Africa, Burkina Faso, and Saudi Arabia and drew with Tunisia.
Meanwhile, Nigeria have been a tough team to beat, as they won six of their last seven matches, with one loss. The team have lost just twice in the last 12 months, across all competitions.
The Super Eagles will be without Calvin Bassey, who has returned to Fulham due to injury problems, and Frank Onyeka, who departed the team camp to return to Brentford due to personal reasons.
With these players out, coach Finidi would have to make some tweaks to the team.
The game between Nigeria and Mali will take place at the Stade de Marrakech on Tuesday, March 26, and will kick off at 9 PM Nigerian time.
The game will be available on the official YouTube Platform of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).