JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Mali and Ghana meet to decide the bronze medal at the African Nations Cup for a second successive tournament on Saturday.
Mali beat Ghana a year ago in Malabo to take third place at the last edition in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon and Saturday’s match in Port Elizabeth will go to the side best able to put aside the trauma of missing out on the final again.
Mali were given a thrashing by Nigeria in their last-four clash in Durban, conceding three first-half goals before losing 4-1.
Ghana lost on post-match penalties to the tournament’s surprise package Burkina Faso after a thrilling 1-1 draw in Nelspruit that went to extra time.
The defeat added to the heartbreak the Black Stars suffered in South Africa three years ago when they also lost on penalties in the World Cup quarter-finals.
“We are definitely down but will psyche ourselves up and make sure we go for the third place,” Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan said on the eve of the game.
Both sides return to the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium after beginning their campaigns in Port Elizabeth.
Ghana beat Mali 1-0 in their Group C match on January 24, winning with a first-half penalty from Mubarak Wakaso, who is the joint leading goal-scorer of the competition and will be seeking to add to his tournament tally of four.
Editing by Clare Fallon