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Igesund: We have to beat Mali

Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund says his team needs to win Wednesday’s game against Mali to increase its chances of qualifying for the next round of the 2014 CHAN tournament.

Bafana will take on Mali at the Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday at 17h00.

“It is very important for us to go to the match with Nigeria in a very comfortable position. There is a strong possibility that three teams could end on six points each and we don’t want that situation,” Igesund told the Siya crew.

“We cannot worry about what other teams are doing, but can only worry about what we can control. The players know, and I made it very clear that we have to beat Mali and we will see what happens in the other game – if they end up in a draw the better for us.

“But we don’t want to go that far ahead (into the Nigeria match). We take each game as it comes and after Mali we will think of Nigeria – but tomorrow we will be ready for the game. It should be a tough one but I am quite confident because even though we started slowly I believe we will get stronger and stronger,” added Igesund.

Igesund said he had a plan against the physical Mali team.

“We are playing against a very good and physical team so we have been working hard on keeping the ball, making quick passes because we don’t want to get into a tussle with them as we will come off second best.

We need to be clever and use the ball well and need to be more penetrative than we were in the first match (against Mozambique). So the mission is very clear. We have to get a result in this game so we know where we are,” continued Igesund.

“Our tactics will change from our clash with Mozambique. We cannot allow Mali free play in the middle of the park because they are a very good side and if they can get a chance they will finish us off. I was quite surprised how impressive Mali was against Nigeria, which indicates we have our work cut out for us. I am contemplating making changes to the playing personnel because this is a totally different game. I want to have a bit more pace going forward but those changes will be completely tactical,” concluded Igesund.

Meanwhile, Safa have announced that ticket holders for Wednesday CHAN double-header at Cape Town Stadium will enjoy a free Metrorail train ride to the stadium.

All fans with valid match tickets for the South Africa versus Mali and Nigeria versus Mozambique games have been granted free access to Metrorail services on the day.

Ticket holders travelling from Fish Hoek (via Wynberg), Hatfield (via Cape Flats), Bellville (via Monte Vista), Kraaifontein (via Goodwood), Kaptainsklip (via Pinelands), Chris Hani (via Mutual) and Belville Sarepta) could take advantage of the offer, to and from the games.

Igesund: We have to beat Mali

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