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3 vs 1
Played
February 9, 2013 6:00 PM GMT
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium — Port Elizabeth
Referee:‬ E. Otogo-Castane‎
Attendance:‬ 6000‎
 

Mali - Ghana Preview: History repeats itself as Black Stars and Eagles battle for Afcon bronze

Mali is seeking to make amends after losing 1-0 to the Black Stars at the group stage of the tournament to grab the third place position at the 2013 Afcon

By Umar-Farouk Atipaga

Ghana fans at 2013 Afcon
Ghana fans at 2013 Afcon (getty)
  PROBABLE LINEUPS

MALI
 Morocco
Samassa
Diawara, Tamboura, Wague, N’Diaye
C. Diarra, Keita, K. Traore
M. Traore, S. Diarra, Diabate


GHANA

 Morocco
Dauda
Afful, Vorsah, Boye, Asamoah
Boateng, Asante
Badu, Atsu, Wakaso
Gyan

Football fans on the African continent will be treated to a repeat of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations third place play-off on Saturday in Port Elizabeth.

Last year in Equatorial Guinea, the Malians stood tall after beating Ghana 2-0 to clinch the bronze medal. In fact, the Black Stars had beaten Mali by the same score line earlier in the competition when they met in Group B.

Interestingly, the two west African sides were paired again at the group stage this year. Just as in the 2012 edition, Ghana won the group match 1-0 courtesy of a Mubarak Wakaso goal from the spot.

Saturday’s encounter is a matter of motivation after disappointments in their respective semi-final matches. The Eagles of Mali were thrashed 4-1 by the Super Eagles of Nigeria in the first semi-final match on Wednesday. It was the kind of result which left many baffled, as a much tighter match was expected.

But Patrice Carteron’s men failed to live up to the expected level of the match as the Nigerians walked comfortably into the final.

On the other hand, the Black Stars of Ghana, who were seen as one of the major favourites, missed out on another attempt to make it into the final after a 3-2 defeat to Burkina Faso on penalties.

The match ended 1-1 after 120 minutes and the Stallions were the ones smiling as they booked their first appearance in the final of the Afcon following a penalty shootout victory. Ghana’s regular starting line-up will change slightly with Mohammed Rabiu suspended. The injured John Paintsil is likely to stay out as well.

Kwesi Appiah will need to spend time psyching up the four-time African champions, who are clearly downhearted after another unsuccessful attempt at winning their fifth continental title.

Seydou Keita will certainly be the danger man for the Malians and it will be a major achievement for him to engineer the team to a second successive third place finish.

One of the things the Malians must guard against is how they handle the Ghanaian attackers in the penalty area. Ghana have won three penalties at the tournament which reveals how slippery some of their attackers are.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Ghana have gone 31 years without a title at the senior level on the continent.

  • Ghana’s Mubarak Wakaso is the joint top scorer at the Afcon after netting four goals. The Espanyol midfielder scored three of the four goals from the spot.

  • Ghana and Mali are meeting for the fourth time in the last year and the Eagles have never won the Afcon title.
  • Black Stars captain, Asamoah Gyan is two goals away from equalling Wilberforce Mfum’s record as the highest Ghanaian scorer in the history of the Afcon.

  • The Al Ain striker has scored six goals in his campaigns at the Afcon.

  • Mali have suffered the second highest defeat at the current tournament after losing 4-1 to Nigeria. 

  • The two teams are meeting in the third place play-off for the second successive time.



Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
Africa Cup of Nations ‎(ACN)‎ 9 Feb 2013 Mali 3 - Ghana 1
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
Africa Cup of Nations ‎(ACN)‎ 24 Jan 2013 Ghana 1 - Mali 0
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
Africa Cup of Nations ‎(ACN)‎ 11 Feb 2012 Ghana 0 - Mali 2
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
Africa Cup of Nations ‎(ACN)‎ 28 Jan 2012 Ghana 2 - Mali 0
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
World Cup Qualification - Africa ‎(WCQA)‎ 15 Nov 2009 Ghana 2 - Mali 2
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
Last Five Matches
Mali
5 Mar 2014Senegal 1 - Mali 1FR
25 Jan 2014Mali 1 - Zimbabwe 2CHAN
19 Jan 2014Mozambique 1 - Mali 2CHAN
15 Jan 2014South Africa 1 - Mali 1CHAN
11 Jan 2014Mali 2 - Nigeria 1CHAN
Ghana
5 Mar 2014Montenegro 1 - Ghana 0FR
1 Feb 2014Libya 0 - Ghana 0CHAN
29 Jan 2014Nigeria 0 - Ghana 0CHAN
26 Jan 2014Ghana 1 - RD Congo 0CHAN
21 Jan 2014Ethiopia 0 - Ghana 1CHAN
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
Players to Watch
Seydou Keita
Seydou Keita
Position:
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The China-based is a huge asset for the Malians. Keita has always bossed the midfield for the Eagles. His height is just suitable for the aerial challenges. He is also a source of goals.
Wakaso
Wakaso
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
5 4 3 0
The Espanyol midfielder has never shown signs of being a debutant at the tournament. He has by far been one of Ghana’s best performers at the tournament. He has scored four goals and goes into Saturday’s match as a joint top scorer. Wakaso’s pace and strength will be a tremendous weapon for Ghana. His set pieces must be watched by the Malians.
Prediction
The Black Stars are now extra careful after they were beaten by the Malians last year. They might have felt disappointed after losing the semi-final match to Burkina Faso but they will not allow the Malians to ride over them at this stage again.
Editor's Prediction
Mali 0
Ghana 1
Results
Third Place Match
Times In GMT
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Didier Drogba Didier Drogba
Striker
Galatasaray
6 3
Mbokani Mbokani
Striker
Dynamo Kiev
5 2
Alain Traoré Alain Traoré
Midfielder
FC Lorient
5 0
Wakaso Wakaso
Midfielder
Rubin
4 3
Victor Moses Victor Moses
Midfielder
Liverpool
4 2