Ghana will be battling it out with Mali on Feb. 11 for third place in this year’s Africa Cup of Nations tournament at the Estadio de Malabo in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. Both teams lost their respective semi-final matchups as Ghana was upset 1-0 by Zambia and Mali was edged by the same score by Ivory Coast.
Ghana’s Samuel Inkoom said that Ghana will be out for a win after the disappointment at not making the final. He said they want to finish the event on a positive note and to do that they have to come away with a win, especially after being one of the favourites to win the whole thing before the tournament began.
They might have made it to the final if Asamoah Gyan could have converted an early penalty kick against Zambia. He also missed a crucial spot kick in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and the team was knocked out in the quarterfinal stage. Inkoom said the players have to win the game to give something back to their people. He insisted it’s an important game for his nation.
Ghana will be disappointed playing for third place, but Mali are looking at it like a victory as many people didn’t expect them to get this far. These two teams met in the group stages with Ghana coming out on top with a 2-0 win. However, Inkoom said the previous game has nothing to do with this match and it definitely won’t be an easy game. He feels Mali will be out for some revenge and that should make for an interesting contest.
It looks like Ghana will have to play the game without the services of some pretty good players. Skipper John Mensah has a thigh injury while Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu has an injured knee. John Boye and Derek Boateng definitely won’t be playing as they’re both out with suspensions.
Even though Mali wasn’t really one of the favourites this year, they’ve still managed to make the semi finals four straight times. However, they’ve lost every game at that stage. They haven’t played in a Cup Final since way back in 1972, which was the year they made their debut in the tournament.
Ghana has a more skilful team, even without their injured and suspended players. If they truly are focused on winning this match they should be able to do so by two goals.
The latest odds at sportsbook William Hill show a Ghana win at 19/20 with a Mali victory at 11/4 and a draw at 23/10.