Mali coach Patrice Carteron is satisfied with his side’s third-place finish at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Goals to Mamadou Samassa, Seydou Keita and Sigamary Diarra helped Mali clinch third place at the tournament with a 3-1 victory over Ghana in the bronze medal game on Saturday.
Third was where Mali finished in the 2012 version of the Africa Cup of Nations and Carteron said his players could be proud of achieving the same result they managed at the tournament 12 months earlier.
“I am proud and very happy to have achieved third place in the Africa Cup of Nations,” he said.
“The players have worked very hard for me throughout the tournament and they deserved to get third place for their efforts.
“We are going back home to a country which will probably be very happy with what we have achieved considering what is happening in the country at the moment.
“The bronze medal is a huge achievement for this group of players.
“For a big nation like Mali this is only the second time we have gone this far in the competition and we are very happy with what we have achieved.
“We hope we can use it to continue to improve and the players have not let me down the entire tournament.”
Despite the loss, Ghana coach James Appiah was happy with how his team performed over the three weeks of the tournament in South Africa.
“I believe the players performed very well,” Appiah said.
“We had our chances and did not take them.
“These players can do well if given further opportunities because they have gained much experience.”