Mali not worried about facing SA without top goalkeeper
Mali coach Patrice Carteron is not too concerned about missing their number one goalkeeper, Mamadou Samassa, in Saturday’s eagerly anticipated Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinal clash against South Africa.
Carteron said they had two capable replacements in Soumaila Diakite and Aly Yirango.
Mali goalkeeper Mamadou Samassa has been suspended for the game. The towering Samassa picked up his second yellow card of the tournament against the Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday.
“It was not an easy decision to drop the other goalkeepers, but we decided to go with Samassa and he did well in the other games. Now other goalkeepers will have a chance of playing as well. Soumaila is the most experienced and undefeated in penalties so South Africa must win before penalties,” he said with a smile.
Mali returned to training today after taking a day off yesterday when the players enjoyed themselves on the beach.
Carteron said they were in a relaxed mood and wanted the players to enjoy themselves after achieving their first objective of reaching the knockout stages of the tournament.
“We only trained with the players who played less and the rest are in the hotel being checked by the medical team and physios. We will resume with our full programme tomorrow.”
He said they were looking forward to the game, particularly the fantastic atmosphere at the stadium.
Bafana will also be without defender Anele Ngcongca, who is suspended for the game.