Seydou Keita: Mission accomplished for Mali

The former Barcelona midfielder tells the Eagles have already achieved their set objective at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa
Mali were handed a 4-1 drubbing by Nigeria in the semi-finals of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday, knocking them out of the race to the final of the tournament, but the Eagles still have the chance to reach the podium if they fair well against Ghana in the third place match on Saturday.

Notwithstanding, the team’s captain Seydou Keita believes they have achieved their initial goal and everybody within the outfit is happy.
“Losing 4-1 to Nigeria wasn’t a nightmare. We did our best against a very organised and determined side, so what do you expect,” Keita tells as they pack up for their trip (to Port Elizabeth) for Saturday’s clash against the Black Stars.
“We came with the main objective of reaching the knockout stage, which successfully happened. We came on as bronze winners at the 2012 Afcon, but so many things happened along the line back home that affected the setup and don’t forget the war.
“So, to me, I feel we have done well at the ongoing Afcon and our team will work more to build on this and hopefully fight for our (2014 Fifa World Cup) qualification.”
Back home in Mali, the war is almost over, after French soldiers and loyalists unleashed a month-long merciless onslaught on the rebels, which has brought much joy to locals, who would be looking ahead for their national team to crown it off with a third place finish.
“If we triumph against Ghana on Saturday it’d make the joy of Malians complete after the trauma of the recent war,” Keita said.