Bafana ‘focused and prepared’ for rivals Mali

Gordon Igesund says Bafana is ready for the ‘David Vs Goliath’ Afcon clash with Mali.

Coach Gordon Igesund addresses journalists on 1 February 2013, a day before Bafana Bafana's Afcon quarterfinal clash against Mali. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

DURBAN - Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund on Friday said his side was ready for the 'David versus Goliath' battle in their Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) quarterfinal against Mali on Saturday.

Bafana has won only one game in the tournament, but managed to draw twice to advance beyond the group stages.

Igesund said Bafana were focused on a victory.

"I know the team I'm starting…, the team is well prepared and there is not going to be any last bit of changes in the areas [Sic].

"We're focused."

Mali are 60 places above Bafana in the FIFA world-rankings and much of the build-up hype has focused on the physicality and experience of the west African side.

They were also the team who eliminated Bafana in the Afcon 2002 quarterfinals.

Igesund said even though Mali were a star-studded side, Bafana were prepared to take them on.

"They (Mali) have got some fantastic players in their team, [who are] capable of making some good movements, good passing [and are] very comfortable on the ball.

"But each game is different; so whatever they come up with, we have prepared ourselves for all different types of situations."

The Bafana coach said his team would focus on their own style of play in tonight's clash.

"We obviously know what is at stake; we know what we want to do, we know how we're going to play [and] we know who we gotta [Sic] take care of in the team.

"But as far as my game plan is concerned, I'd like to keep that a little bit secret"

Captain Bongani Khumalo, meanwhile, said his side was up for the challenge against their rivals.

Khumalo said Bafana were prepared to show the same kind of fighting spirit shown in previous games.

He also said they intended to rectify their mistakes from previous games.

"We'll make sure we are a bit solid going forward because we all know how sensitive this point of the competition is."

Kick-off is at 8:30 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. But before that, Ghana play Cape Verde at 5pm in Port Elizabeth