AFCON 2013 has entered the Semi final stage and only West African teams survived to this stage. The surviving teams include the Super eagles of Nigeria, Black Stars of Ghana, Eagles of Mali and The Stallions of Burkina Faso. Nigeria squares up against Mali while Ghana squares up against Burkina Faso.
Mali’s coach Patrice Carteron has already admitted his side are the underdogs as they clash with the Super Eagles this afternoon at the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban to determine who claims the Finals ticket. Considering the form of the Super Eagles and the confidence they exude after beating Cote D’ivoire (The tournament’s favorite) at the quarter final stage, the Malians would definitely find the Nigerians a hard nut to crack. Kick-off time for the match is 15:00Hrs GMT.
Eagles of Mali
Mali is ranked 25th in the world and 3rd in Africa while the Nigeria is ranked 52nd on FIFA’s list and 9th in Africa. The rank of the Malians would face a litmus test as they meet the Super Eagles this afternoon. Both sides have some quality players that can deliver, but the odds seem to favour Nigeria.
Black Stars of Ghana
Coach Stephen Keshi of Nigeria has been receiving accolades for taking the Super Eagles into the Semi final stage. Everyone has quickly gotten over the fears of the coach crashing the team in the group stage. So many soccer pundits had expressed fears the coach might fail at the preliminary stage just like he did with Togo and Mali when was coach of the West African teams in the 2006 and 2010 editions respectively.
Stallions of Burkina Faso
The second semi final match between the Black Stars of Ghana and the Stallions of Burkina Faso comes up by 6:30GMT at the Mbobela Stadium in Nelspruit. The Stallions are a very physically fit side with Traore and Pitroipa Jonathan that could be dangerous up front. However, having survived the scare from Cape Verde, Ghana looks set to withstand the Burkinabes.
AFCON 2013: West African Teams Square Up in Semi Finals