Samassa to start ahead of Diakita when Mali takes on Nigeria tomorrow

Mali coach has revealed that Mamadou Samassa will start ahead of keeper Soumbeyla Diakita who was the hero in knocking out Bafana on Saturday

“Both our goalkeepers are good, but I can confirm that Samassa will be returning to the goals, and we hope that he will play a crucial role in our side,” said Partice Carteron.

Carteron also made it clear that despite having good goalkeepers for stopping penalties, they are hoping to win the match in 90 minutes.

“Our approach will be to play attacking football and try to win the match in the 90 minutes. If that doesn’t happen I guess we have to take advantage of our goalkeepers. I think all the players are well alert as to what to do,” he said.

Mali has been known as a slow paced team that doesn't rely on speed, and the coach said that they will use the same approach going into the Nigeria game.

“We will not change a winning formula, so will continue to do what we know best. What is important here is the results, we will do whatever it takes to advance to the next stage. Our eyes and minds are focused on victory.

“We have much respect for Nigeria but that doesn’t mean we fear them. The players are well motivated not only because of what is happening back home, but being here in this tournament has made them stronger as they were underrated,” said Carteron.