AFCON

Mali drop shootout star Diakite

2013-02-05 22:13
Soumaila Diakite (AP)
Durban - Mali have dropped penalty shootout star Soumaila Diakite for Wednesday's Africa Cup of Nations semi-final against Nigeria here at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Mali coach Patrice Carteron said France-based goalkeeper Mamadou Samassa will start ahead of the more experienced Diakite, from Bamako club Stade Malien, who saved two penalties in the quarter-final triumph over South Africa.

Guingamp goalkeeper Samassa missed the South Africa game last Saturday because of a one-match ban after picking up two bookings in the group stage.

Carteron has praised Samassa, 22, who represented France in age-group sides, but opted for Mali at full international level, making his debut last October.

Mali are hoping to beat Nigeria and qualify for only their second Africa Cup final after losing 3-2 to Congo Brazzaville in Yaounde 41 years ago.

"We will play to win," vowed Carteron.

"We will attack because we want to win without going to penalties.

"Nigeria are favourites, but we aim to beat them. The pressure is on them - we are not under pressure because we are not the favourites."

Former Lyon defender Carteron believes his team must impose themselves physically to reach the final.

"The teams are similar physically and the team who wins the physical battle will win the match," he predicted.

Skipper Seydou Keita wants to improve on the showing at the 2012 tournament in Gabon/Equatorial Guinea, where they went out to Ivory Coast at the semi-finals stage.

"It will be a tough game but we want to win it. This will be our second straight semi-final and we want to go further.

"I have not won a trophy with Mali, but we have a chance now and we hope we can do it."

The Malian squad have given former South African president Nelson Mandela a signed shirt of skipper Keita.

Carteron said they would love to meet Mandela, but this was not possible so they decided to send him a No 12 shirt of Keita signed by the entire squad.

Read more on:    afcon  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

United issued CL warning

2014-07-31 11:54

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • SS3
    Thu, 31 Jul 2014 @
    04:00
  • SS4
    Thu, 31 Jul 2014 @
    05:00
  • SS5
    Thu, 31 Jul 2014 @
    05:59
  • SS7
    Thu, 31 Jul 2014 @
    06:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Vote

Who do you think will be the next manager at Manchester United?

 
 
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.