Mohamed Magassouba

Mali coach Mohammed Magassouba has given first call-ups to 18-year old Cheick Oumar Doucouré and France-born striker Alimani Gory ahead of their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group C qualifiers against Burundi later this month.

Magassouba has been impressed with 22-year-old Gory following his two goals in eight appearances for Le Havre in Ligue 2.

Lens midfielder Doucouré also makes a senior Mali squad for the first time.

At youth level, Doucouré was in the squad when Mali lost 2-0 to Brazil in the third-place play-off match at the 2017 Fifa under-17 World Cup in India.

Goalkeepers Mamadou Samassa and Oumar Sissoko both return to the 25-man squad as do midfielder Lassana Coulibaly and striker Hadi Sacko.

There is still no place for captain Yacouba Sylla, who has not played for Belgium’s KV Mechelen since August.

Amiens defender Bakaye Dibassy, who travelled to Juba for Mali’s 3-0 win over South Sudan last month, and striker Bakary Sako – who recently moved to West Bromwich Albion – miss out.

Mali, who lead Group C with six points, take on Burundi in Bamako on 12 October and then again four days later in Bujumbura.

Burundi are on four points with Gabon third on one point and South Sudan still searching for their first points.

Mali Squad:

Goalkeepers: Mamadou Samassa (Troyes, France), Oumar Sissoko (Le Havre, France), Djigui Diarra (Stade Malien, Mali), Adama Keita (Djoliba, Mali)

Defenders: Mamadou Fofana (Metz, France), Salif Coulibaly (Al Ahly, Egypt), Hamari Traoré (Stade Rennes, France), Falaye Sacko (Victoria de Guimarães, Portugal), Charles Traoré (Nantes, France), Molla Wagué (Watford, England)

Midfielders: Amadou Haidara and Diadié Samassekou (Red Bull Salzburg, Austria); Souleymane Diarra and Cheick Oumar Doucouré (Lens, France); Yves Bissouma (Brighton Hove & Albion, England), Sambou Yatabaré (Royal Antwerp, Belgium), Lassana Coulibaly (Rangers, Scotland), Moussa Djenepo (Standard Liège, Belgium)

Strikers: Moussa Doumbia (Stade Reims, France), Moussa Marega (Porto, Portugal), Abdoulay Diaby (Sporting Lisbon, Portugal), Adama Traoré (Metz, France), Alimani Gory (Le Havre, France), Hadi Sacko (Las Palmas, Spain) and Kalifa Coulibaly (FC Nantes, France)

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