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Bafana studying Mali - Igesund

Bafana Bafana are preparing themselves ahead of their next Afcon encounter with Mali.

Bafana coach Gordon Igesund. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA.

CAPE TOWN - Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund on Tuesday said his side was studying Mali and would be ready for them in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) quarter-final on Saturday.

Mali progressed to the next round of the tournament by finishing second in Group B.

They booked a date with Bafana following their 1-1 draw with the Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday night.

Igesund said his players know they will face a tough and physical battle with the West Africans.

"All 11 of them are tall players but we will cope with that. We have to use the ball well and keep it on the ground. We have to get behind them and start putting them under pressure."

Igesund said he knows a lot about Mali's strategies and tactics, which will count in Bafana's favour.

"They play a 4-1-4-1 formation and they like to get the ball upfront to the big guy. He's very useful and he brings the midfield players into play, but we'll deal with that."

GROUP C

Meanwhile, Nigeria is through to the last eight after beating Ethiopia 2-0 at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium.

The Super Eagles were awarded two penalties in the second half and Victor Moses converted them both.

Zambia, the 2012 champions, were knocked out of the competition after drawing 1-1 with Burkina Faso at Mbombela Stadium.

This is the first time in around two decades that the reigning champions have been dumped out of the competition in the first round.

In the final round of group matches, Algeria will take on Ivory Coast at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium tonight at 7pm in Group D.

Togo will face Tunisia at the Mbombela Stadium in the group's other encounter.

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