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Carteron: It Will Be Won In The Midfield

Afcon semi-final: Mali v Nigeria

Venue: Moses Mabhida Stadium

Time: 17h00

 

Mali ousted host nation, Bafana Bafana, from the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations to book their spot in the semi-finals of the continental show-piece, where they will face Nigeria, who beat tournament favourites Ivory Coast at the quarterfinal stage.

 

The teams go head-to-head tonight at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, with a final berth at stake. Mali have already played two of their games in Durban and although they will be used to the ground, coach Patrice Carteron admits that the game against the Super Eagles will be a tricky affair.

 

He told the Siya crew that after beating the hosts, who were a very good side, all the remaining games will be challenging.

 

“Yes we have played at this stadium before but that doesn't mean we are the favourites. Nigeria surprised everyone when they beat Ivory Coast, so we have to be very careful when we meet them. I think just like the South Africa game, this one will be won in the midfield. Both teams have very good and strong midfielders," Carteron said.

 

Super Eagles coach Steven Keshi, who has won the cup as a player before, said that their self belief has kept them going and that will not change.

 

“We believe that we can do it and there is nothing that surpasses the belief to do it. We know Mali are ranked higher than us but so was Ivory Coast. We are almost there and we just have to keep on going when in the field of play. We want to reach the finals and take it from there," Keshi concluded.

 

Standard Bank Key Players: 

Mali: Seydou Keita

Nigeria: John Obi Mikel

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