2013 Africa Cup of Nations Finals – Wednesday 06 February 2013


Mali v Nigeria

Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban

Going into this tournament Mali were ranked third within CAF and Nigeria at ninth. Despite the higher ranking for Mali, the bookies favour Nigeria ahead of this fixture. In the previous six meetings between the countries, three have been drawn and Nigeria won the other three. Nigeria are one of the ‘giants’ of African football and have qualified for seventeen AFCON Finals (including 2013), whilst this is the eighth Finals for Mali. Although both teams finished as runners-up in their respective Groups this time round, the victory in the Quarter-Finals achieved by Nigeria over favourites Ivory Coast, was a more impressive and convincing win than that achieved by Mali, who came through on penalties against hosts South Africa. Mali coach Patrice Carteron has tried to play some management mind-games by stating that The Super Eagles are the favourites with players such as Victor Moses, Emmanuel Emenike, and John Obi Mikel. Mali showed character to come back from 1-0 against South Africa, so will not be overawed by Nigeria and have quality players of their own, in the shape of Seydou Keita and Cheick Diabaté. However, with Nigeria having put out AFCON favourites Ivory Coats, they may just have too much for Mali.


Burkina Faso v Ghana

Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit

Burkina Faso were ranked in twenty third spot with Ghana in fourth for the CAF Ranking prior to the 2013 AFCON Finals. These two have played each other on four occasions. Ghana have won three to one victory for Burkina Faso. The last game between the countries took place in Angola at the 2010 AFCON Finals. In a Group B game, a goal from Andre Ayew on thirty minutes gave Ghana a 1-0 victory. The Black Stars went on to reach the Final, where they lost 1-0 to Egypt. This is Ghana’s nineteenth appearance at the Finals, with Burkina Faso having been in nine. In the Quarter-Finals, Ghana beat Cape Verde 2-0, but had more than their fair share of the ‘rub of the green’. Burkina Faso had to endure extra-time in overcoming Togo 1-0 with a goal from Jonathan Pitroipa. With Ivory Coasty out, the bookies have Ghana now installed as tournament favourites and despite their unconvincing victory over Cape Verde, it is difficult to see them not making it through to the Final.

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Posted February 6, 2013 by Editor in category "2013 Africa Cup of Nations

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