Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Afcon

Durban ready for battle of the birds



A fierce Afcon semifinal contest is expected to play out between Nigeria's Super Eagles and The Eagles of Mali at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Wednesday.

Patrice Carteron's men come into this tie after edging hosts, South Africa in the quarterfinals via penalties while the team of Stephen Keshi stunned pre-tournament favourites, Cote d'Ivoire to reach the last four.

The Nigerians are favourites ahead of this all-West African clash though the Malians are the most highly ranked team among the semifinalists.

Interestingly both teams finished second in their different groups.

Nigeria forward, Emmanuel Emenike, is gunning for the leading scorer of the tournament after scoring three times so far and he is tipped to score first in this match, according to bookmakers.

Keshi will have his full squad to pick from after Fegor Ogude missed the quarterfinals owing to suspension but could stick to the starting side that defeated the Ivorians.

But Mali Mohamed Sissoko and Samba Diakite are doubts and face late fitness tests for the semifinal match.

Keshi, a former coach of Mali, has called on his troops to show respect to their opponents.

"We respect every team in the competition, and we intend to approach this game the same way we approach every game," said Keshi.

But Mali captain, Seydou Keita, who has scored twice in this Afcon, is not pleased that everyone has tipped Nigeria to win.

"People keep saying that Nigeria will beat us on Wednesday because their coach Stephen Keshi knows the in and out of Mali team having coached us in the past, but that is not true," Keita said.

Keshi's men, however, have the edge going into this match as they have never lost an Afcon game to Mali since 2002.

Nigeria have beaten Mali twice out of four Afcon head-to-head meetings since 2002 with the other games ending in draws including a 0-0 draw in Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana in 2008 when both sides last met at the tournament.



Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Dr Errol Sweeney
Ref assault should be condemned by all
The assault on a referee in Saudi Arabia recently should be condemned by all.

Neil Tovey
My Absa Prem team of the season
Games are won by scoring goals but defence wins titles. That rang true for Kaizer Chiefs.

Carol Radull
I'm not surprised Arsenal stumbled
Why am I not surprised that Arsenal has stumbled at the final hurdle, or close to the final hurdle?

Sunday Oliseh
Why Pep’s move could fire up the EPL
It’s the talk, speculation and rumour of the moment that, if true, could impact the English Premier...

Segun Odegbami
Messi, the little genius
After last Wednesday night, the challenge with writing about this little Argentine is not about how...

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
The best team always wins the league
One of the ironies of life is that the first time I heard the chant of “boring, boring”, it was...