Oumou Kone is radiant with joy after her hat-trick against Ghanaian side Ampem Darkoa Ladies at the ongoing CAF Women's Champions League in Cote d’Ivoire.
On Thursday, November 9, at the Laurent Pokou Stadium in San Pedro, the 23-year-old, was the executioner of Ampem Darkoa with her goals, allowing AS Mande to finally entertain hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals of the competition.
This comes after their setback in 2021, where the Malian club was eliminated in the group stage with just one point.
Kone played for Malian topflight side Super Lionnes and the Mali national women's team. She capped for Mali at the senior level during the 2014 Africa Women's Cup of Nations qualifications.
In July 2022, Kone scored two goals and assisted on a third to beat Netherlands 3-1 at the 2022 CISM World Military Women's Soccer Championship in Spokane, Washington, United States.
Below is an exclusive Cafonline.com interview with Oumou Kone - the hat-trick heroine.
How does it feel to score a hat-trick and secure AS Mandé's first victory in the Women's Champions League?
Well, I am happy. Our first match was a personal failure for me. Today, I had the opportunity to score three goals. I thank God and my teammates for helping me. I am very happy. What we have just achieved together is historic, and I want this adventure to continue by reaching the final.
You still have one more match against the defending champion, AS FAR Rabat. How do you see this match?
You saw how we prepared for the match against Ampem Darkoa; it will be the same against AS FAR. By God's grace, we will win this match too, and we hope to qualify. It's a goal for the entire group, and we are all working together for it.
AS Mandé scored three goals without conceding in the Champions League, a relief?
We joined forces, charged together, and it worked. That's all I can say. We learned from our mistakes and were serious and determined in our efforts.
Is qualifying for the semi-finals possible for you?
Yes, for me, nothing is impossible. Today, we are at the top of the group after two matchdays, and we will fight for this qualification. By God's grace, we will achieve it.