Mali announce final squad for Afcon 2017

The Eagles' playing body for the continental gathering has been unveiled

Crystal Palace winger Bakary Sako has made Mali's final team for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations, despite having had only 59 minutes of league action this season.

The 28-year-old was the surprise inclusion in coach Alain Giresse's final squad, in light of his injury problems this campaign.

Young goalkeeper Djigui Diarra, who was impressive at the 2015 Fifa Under-20 World Cup, also made the cut, as did AS Monaco's Adama Traore, who was adjudged Player of the Tournament.

That said, there was a fair representation of experienced players with the likes of 32-year-old goalkeeper Soumaila Diakite and Mustapha Yatabare of Turkish outfit Karabukspor.

The Eagles, who are placed in Group D, will open their campaign against Egypt on January 17, before matches against Ghana and Uganda.

Full squad:

Goalkeepers: Soumaila Diakite (Stade Malien de Bamako), Djigui Diarra (Stade Malien de Bamako), Oumar Sissoko (Orléans, France)

Defenders: Ousmane Coulibaly (Panathinaikos, Greece), Hamari Traore (Reims, France), Molla Wague (Udinese, Italy), Salif Coulibaly (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Mohamed Oumar Konate (RS Berkane, Morocco), Mahamadou N’Diaye (Troyes, France), Youssouf Kone (Lille, France)

Midfielders: Yves Bissouma (Lille, France), Mamoutou N’Diaye (Royal Antwerp, Belgium), Lassana Coulibaly (Bastia, France), Yacouba Sylla (Montpellier, France), Samba Sow (Kayserispor, Turkey), Adama Traore (AS Monaco, France), Sambou Yatabare (Werder Bremen, Germany)

Forwards: Moussa Marega (Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal), Kalifa Coulibaly (Gent, Belgium), Mustapha Yatabare (Karabukspor, Turkey), Bakary Sako (Crystal Palace, England), Moussa Doumbia (Rostov, Russia)