The most awaited game in today’s Group B second outing is the remake of the 2012 AFCON bronze final against Ghana and Mali who finished third in the Gabon/Equatorial Guinea campaign. Mali, following their win against Niger in day one would certainly have less pressure in this game which is rather crucial for Ghana after their draw against DR Congo.
“We have to win our second game against Mali in order to gain confidence because to qualify we must win all our matches.” Gyan, the Captain of the Ghana said.
For his part, Jonathan Mensa, key player in their first outing said today’s match will be better after drawing lessons from their first game.
“We shall correct our game and we shall play very well because our first game was good but not up to our expectations so we shall put in more efforts against Mali.”
The Malian Coach, Patrice Carteron, said he respects the greatness of Ghana and their status of favourites but also said Mali are motivated to create a good surprise.
“Ghana has good players: good forward, good midfielders and a good defense. They are indeed a great team; they are the Germans of Africa— they are disciplined. We know Ghanaians are the favourites but we are motivated to make a good surprise.”
Mali’s team captain Seydou Keita considers the match with more optimism and counts on the comeback of just healed players to bring a boost to the team.
“Ghana is a great nation a very difficult team to play but I think with the aid of just healed players like Momo and Samba Diakité, the team will be stronger and will be able to stand up to Ghana. Anyway we are in a good posture [after winning our first game] we just have to be composed.” Keita said.
Both teams had met twice in the last African Cup. Ghana won Mali in the Group stage but were surprised in the third place match.