Ethiopia will host Mali in the third and final round second leg on Sunday in Addis Ababa, with each side focused on the sole slot from the clash.
Reigning African champions Mali took a 2-0 lead in Bamako a fortnight ago against the Red Foxes, who are chasing a spot at the final tournament for the first time since 1997.
Following the defeat in Bamako, the Red Foxes went into residential camping in Addis Ababa in the hope of turning the table around when the two nations lock horns.
Ethiopia coach Atnafu Alemu told CAFOnline.com that he believes his charges can bounce back from their setbacks two weeks ago.
“Our preparation has been great thus far. We had a good preparation at the Addis Ababa Stadium since the beginning of the week. Unfortunately, the adverse weather condition and the playing field affected our preparation somehow. We are ready to turn the result in our favour when we play Mali,” said Alemu.
Alemu added that the Red Foxes will be on look out for a goal when the duel kicks off.
“It is different when you play at home and away so we must attack in our home soil to reverse the result. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we will forget our defensive job. We must defend cautiously too. Our motto is to score goals and go to Madagascar.”
Meanwhile, the Malians jetted into the Ethiopian capital on Friday, 48-hours before the clash. The highly favoured West Africans had a test of the Addis Ababa Stadium ground as they conducted a light training session on Saturday.
Ethiopia beat Egypt 5-2 on aggregate at the second round whilst Mali put nine past Chad in Ndjamena before the latter withdrew from the second leg in Bamako.
The Red Foxes finished fourth in their last appearance at the final tournament in 1997 in Botswana.
Saturday, 1 October 2016
Cote d’Ivoire 0-0 Ghana (1-3)
Gabon 3-3 Niger (0-1)
Sunday, 2 October 2016
Ethiopia vs Mali (0-2)
Guinea vs Senegal (1-0)
Cameroon vs Sudan (2-4)
Congo vs Tanzania (2-3)
Comoros vs Angola (0-5)