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Africa Cup of Nations

  • February 11, 2012
  • • 19:00
  • • Nuevo Estadio de Malabo, Malabo
  • Referee: Ghead Grisha

2012 Africa Cup of Nations Preview: Mali - Ghana

2012 Africa Cup of Nations Preview: Mali - Ghana


The Black Stars and the Eagles clash in the third place play-off, often known as the loser's final

Coulibaly, Tamboura, Berthe, Kante
A. Traore, Keita, Kone, M. Traore
Maiga, Diabate


Inkoom, Jonathan Mensah, Vorsah, Paintsil
Masawudu, K. Asamoah, Annan, A. Ayew
J. Ayew

Ghana and Mali will face each other on Saturday in Malabo for the honour of being named the third-best team at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. The word 'honour' is used rather lightly in this case, as both teams will be disappointed to have lost in the semi-finals, and this title is likely to have little meaning other than some small amount of pride for the winner.

Ghana lost 1-0 to Zambia in Wednesday's semi-final clash while Mali fell to Cote d'Ivoire by the same margin, consigning the two national teams to the "loser's final".

The Black Stars and the Eagles met earlier in the competition, and it was the Ghanaians who had the upper hand in the Group D fixture, winning by two goals to nil in a west African derby that went a long way to deciding how the pool would look ahead of the quarter-finals.

Mali have a relatively full strength squad, but it is unclear whether the Eagles will be going all out with their best possible team in an attempt to come third at the 2012 Afcon.

Ghana captain John Mensah left the pitch in their last game with an injury, and he is a doubt for this game, pending scans to determine the extent of the injury, while Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu is also a doubt through injury.

Defender John Boye will be missing in this match as he is serving a suspension for accumulation of yellow cards. Derrick Boateng is also unavailable for the encounter due to the red card he received in Ghana's semi-final against Zambia.

  • Mali have never won the Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
  • The Eagles refused to collect bonuses from the Malian FA when they qualified for the tournament as a sign of how committed they are to playing for their country.
  • Seydou Keita (pictured) asked his countrymen to sheath their swords and find peace after their quarter-final victory against Gabon following fighting between government troops and Tuareg rebels in the north of the country.
  • Ghana have only conceded three goals in the tournament out of five games so far.
  • The Black Stars last won the Afcon three decades ago in 1982.
  • Goran Stevanovic becomes the second Serbian coach in a row to have taken the west Africans to this stage of the tournament after Milovan Rajevac’s feat in 2010.

Players to watch

J. Ayew

Position: Attacker

Games: 6

  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
He looked impressive in their semi-final clash, and will be keen to earn further credibility with the national side by showing what he is capable of.

S. Kéita

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The veteran will be pleased to see his team-mates fight for third place, but his experience will be key to the Eagles going the distance against the Black Stars.

Editor's Prediction

Neither team will be particularly keen on putting in 100 per cent, but with pride on the line, the Black Stars will be more likely to return home with a win in their last game.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head




Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Ghana GHA
Ghana Ghana
Mali MLI
Mali Mali

Top 3 Predictions

Ghana GHA
2 - 1
Mali MLI
Ghana GHA
1 - 2
Mali MLI
Ghana GHA
2 - 0
Mali MLI