AFCON 2013: Bafana v Mali Preview

Babanco-Bernard-Parker-South-Africa-v-Cape-Ve_2888421South Africa and Mali meet in the last eight in a re-run of the quarter-final tie in the Eagles’ back yard in 2002 – when the Malians emerged victorious.

Gordon Igesund’s side hope to have striker Lehlohonolo Majoro back from injury, as they aim to reverse that result on home soil.

Mali are without first-choice keeper Mamadou Samassa, who is suspended.

His place in goal is likely to be taken by penalty specialist Soumbeyla Diakite.

The second-choice keeper’s save from Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang dashed the 2012 co-hosts’ hopes in a quarter-final shoot-out in Libreville.

The Eagles also have two survivors in their ranks from that victory over Bafana Bafana 11 years ago – captain Seydou Keita and Adama Coulibaly.

South Africa, meanwhile, are looking to reach their first semi-final since 2000.

South Africa coach Gordon Igesund:

“Mali are a talented team with very good players. They play differently from the other sides we have met so far.

“They like to slow things down, they like to knock the ball around.

“The Malians are all big boys. I watched them draw against the Democratic Republic of Congo and all 11 are tall.

“We have to use the ball well, keep it on the ground, get behind them.”

Mali coach Patrice Carteron:

“Everyone expects South Africa to reach the semi-finals.

“We have nothing to lose and will try to upset the home team.

“Malians back home have not had much to cheer about apart from the Cup of Nations and we will be playing for them.”

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