Ghana and Mali are seeking their maiden wins at the African U-20 Championship in Rwanda as they clash in a Group A encounter on Wednesday.
A defeat for either side could mathematically rule them out of contention for a place at the next round of the competition and possibly missing out on one of the four tickets to the World Championship slated for Egypt later in the year.
The two teams are considered a continental giant as far as youth football is concerned and a cagey duel is anticipated at the Amahoro Stadium in Kigali.
Mali started their campaign on a losing note after succumbing 1-2 to hosts Rwanda in the opening games, and must avoid another loss to avoid the drop.
Unlike the Young Eagles, the Black Satellites who have a point from the one-all draw with Cameroon last Sunday have set sights on the maximum points to keep their World Cup hopes alive.
Ghana coach Sellas Tetteh has charged his players to make the best of scoring chances that come their way after the attackers consisting of Andre Ayew, Dominic Adiyiah and Isaac Donkor resorted to kicking wide in front of goal in the opening match.
Just as his counterpart Djibril Drame also believes his boys are gradually finding their feet and Ghana may be their first victim.
In the other Group A match, hosts Rwanda will face Cameroon in a dicey duel that favours the former.
The support of the whole nation proved pivotal as the Junior Wasps pip Mali 2-1 in the opening game of the tournament and it is expected to play a similar role against the Indomitable Cubs.
Rwanda coach Obradovic Tomislav reckons the Cameroonians will be no mean pushovers but his side will emerge after victors.
“I respect Cameroon and they are a very strong side. We have a capable team and with the support of the fans, we shall overcome them.”
Victory for the hosts will see them become the first team to qualify for the semi-finals and the World Championships.