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Football | Afcon

Partrice Carteron © Backpagepics

Carteron prays for miracle



Coach of the Malian national football team, Partrice Carteron insists his side will need a miracle to overcome Nigeria’s Super Eagles in Wednesday’s semifinal at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.

The Super Eagles produced a fearsome performance in the quarterfinals, as they turned over pre-tournament favourites, the Ivory Coast 2-1 at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg on Sunday.

Carteron has now taken the time to assess his side’s chances against the Nigerians and is hoping a miracle will see his side progress to the final of the competition.

“We need a miracle against Nigeria because they are better than us,” Carteron said.

The French tactician however claimed his players would approach Wednesday’s game against Nigeria without any fear.

“I am not afraid. I do respect them because they are a very good team and I will tell the players to play without any fear.

“They are better than us but if we give 100 percent and we are right physically, you never know,” he said.

The Malians were taken to penalties by South Africa in their last game but have a day more than Nigeria to recover from the exertion of the quarterfinals.

Mali have only gone past the semifinals on one occasion, in 1972 when they lost in the final to Congo.

Nigeria’s Afcon record makes for better reading as they have gone past the semifinals on six occasions.

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