Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




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

Football | Afcon

Nigeria © Gallo Images

Keshi relishing Mali reunion



Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi says he is looking forward to going up against his former team when Nigeria face Mali in the semifinals of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday night, kick-off at 5pm.

Keshi was in charge of the Malian national team from 2008 to 2010, but will now look to plot their downfall when the two sides meet at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

The former Nigerian international has already steered his team past a tough challenge as they managed to outclass favourites Ivory Coast to win their quarterfinal tie 2-1 and is now relieved to face more familiar opposition.

“Ninety per cent of their (Mali) current players used to play for me when I was the head coach,” Keshi told reporters. “So I know what to expect from them on Wednesday.

“We are going to take every game as they come. We are not thinking of the final now but the semifinal against Mali.

“My knowledge is an edge but that does not mean we are not going to work extra-hard to be able to make it to the next round.”

Mali coach Patrice Carteron on the other hand is hopeful that his players will be able to recover from following their physically-demanding semifinal against hosts South Africa.

The two sides were deadlocked at 1-1 after playing for 120 minutes before Mali prevailed 3-1 via the penalty shootout.

"We will need to be fresh and ready physically for this semifinal, as we spent a lot of energy in the quarterfinal,” said Carteron. “That will be big part of the preparation for the match against Nigeria.

“This is not just about our tactics and set moves, but also about being physically fit. We will need to play with our hearts, with generosity, we will not be allowed to make any mistakes and play a great game if we want to make it to the finals.

"I think my players understand what is at stake. I told them after Saturday's match that our job is not to celebrate just now because we made it to the semifinals.

“When you are lucky enough to play in the semifinals of the Africa Cup of Nations, you need to prepare for it, and I am very satisfied about what I have seen among my players in the past 48 hours”

Carteron also admitted that on paper Nigeria have more individual talent that his side, but hopes that they will work as a team to pull off an upset.

"I am not afraid, I do respect them, because it is a very good team,” he added. “I said after the qualification that this team (Nigeria) as Ivory Coast is better than us, but we can never know.

“If we give 100 percent, and physically we are ok, maybe we can try to make a miracle.”

When the two sides met in the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations it was Nigeria who walked away with a 2-1 victory to claim bronze medals, but they could not be separated two years later, playing to a 0-0 draw.

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R152.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
FIFA 14
Xbox 360
R549.00
Mitre Ultimatch Soccer Ball - White
A high quality football, offering high performance at both training and during football matches.
R252.00


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

Live Video Streaming

Pre Season Friendly - Liverpool v Roma
Lawn Bowls - 2nd Session Day 2
Boxing - Prelims 2 Day 1

Sports Talk



Dr Errol Sweeney
World Cup refs return home ‘battered and bruised’
The World Cup is over for another four years and already the post mortem has started into some...

Sunday Oliseh
What Germany did to become champs
The 2002 Japan and South Korea World Cup saw the Germans lose in the Finals to Brazil, thanks to...

Collins Okinyo
Amrouche is his own worst enemy
Thunder has struck twice with news of Harambee Stars coach Adel Amrouche being slapped with a...

Claudia Ekai
Save our Stars
First and foremost, it is not all over for Harambee Stars in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations...

Carol Radull
The Harambee Stars' secrets
A week ago Kenya’s Harambee Stars hosted Burundi in our first international friendly this year. I...

Emeka Enyadike
Joachim Loew: German lessons for Africa
How do you win the World Cup? How do you prepare a team for the greatest show on earth? How do you...