Eagles' performance at 2013 Afcon will restore hope in Mali - Kanoute

The former Tottenham Hotspur forward is convinced this current generation of the Mali team will do something special for the troubled country

Former Mali striker Frederic Kanoute has backed the Eagles to make history in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations to restore hope in the beleaguered country.

The Eagles will face hosts South Africa on Saturday at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in the other quarter-finals of the continental showpiece.

This comes after Mali concluded their last group stage match with a 1-1 draw against DR Congo on Monday.

Kanoute who retired from international football following Mali's elimination from the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, believes the continental showpiece provides the players with a chance to inspire Malians following an unrest in the country.

"I believe a breakthrough will come soon," Kanoute told Fifa.com. “Our country is going through a difficult period and there are of course some urgent problems to tackle. But a great performance in the Cup of Nations will give a sense of hope for our brothers and sisters in Mali."

The former Sevilla striker until his international retirement made 39 Appearances and scored 23 goals for the Eagles.