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Mali delight at quarter-final place

Mali manager Patrice Carteron said he was pleased with his side’s system after securing a spot in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals.

The west Africans were joined in the final eight on Tuesday by neighbours Burkina Faso, however Carteron was thrilled his side were able to improve their structures to earn a 1-1 draw with DR Congo a day before.

Goals have been hard to come by for Mali, scoring only twice in their first three matches, with their defence against DR Congo securing their progress to the final eight.

Carteron said improvements were needed, but he is happy with the direction the team is moving.

“I think that during the first two games our system was not in place, but we were looking for it. To be honest, I was everything other than happy after our performances and what we were showing on the pitch,” the Frenchman said.

“So we had to adapt ourselves to another tactic in order to be able to play in different styles of play, with more pressing towards our opponent.

“I spoke to the squad two days before the game and explained what’s wrong and now I am very happy because our performance yesterday was great and I appreciated it a lot. I am now waiting for the quarter finals and am very excited.”

Mali will look to continue their improvement on the field, with tournament hosts South Africa waiting for them in the quarter-finals.

Tue 29 Jan, 2013
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