Mali and Nigeria ready to do it all over again
Only two matches remain before the completion of the Orange CAF U-20 Championship finals in Algeria and it is down to Egypt and Ghana to fight it out for first and second places while Mali and Nigeria play out to decide third and fourth positions. Ironically these were the exact pairings in the opening Group A and Group B matches when the tournament kicked off, so at the side do it all over again the key question is what is going to be different this time round?
The first answer to that question will be provided on Friday at Ahmed Zabana stadium when Mali meets Nigeria with the former coming out victorious 1-0 when the sides played twelve days ago.
In the build-up to Friday’s fame Malian striker Mahamane Cisse told Cafonline.com that after the disappointment of missing out on the final despite outplaying Ghana in the semi-final, the Eaglets are now focusing on finishing third. We want to be on the podium and by finishing third we will bring honour to our country. We were all down after losing to Ghana on penalties in the semis and our coach Moussa Keita told us that football is often like that, all we have to do now is to go on and show our quality by winning on Friday and finish on the podium”
Cisse went on to say the match against Nigeria will be a feisty one as the Nigerians will be after avenging their 1-0 loss earlier on in the competition. Nigeria coach John Obuh alluded to this saying, the only way to make up for the disappointment of surrendering their title is to finish with a win against Mali.
The Malians who succumbed after 120 minutes of football in the semi-final will have to recover in time to contest with the Nigerians and Cisse says he expects a physical and enthralling battle but they have had enough time to get some energy and fitness back. On reflection we are pleased that we managed to qualify for the World Cup to be played in June and July in Turkey which was our first goal at the start of this tournament” said Cisse.
Against Nigeria on Friday we will play a different game plan from the first time we met but the goal will be the same, to beat them again. I am aware that we are up against a very good side, with speed and able to create scoring chances as we saw in the first match. Saying all this we will be ready for Nigeria and l hope it will be a good and exciting match.
HOSTS COUNTRIES OF NEXT CAF COMPETITIONSOrange CAN 2012
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