24 January 2013

Ghana/Mali: Appiah Wants Improved Performance Against Mali

Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah has demanded an improvement from his side as they prepare to take on Mali in Thursday's African Nations Cup Group B clash.

The Black Stars began their campaign with a disappointing 2-2 draw against DR Congo, while their opponents beat Niger 1-0 thanks to a late Seydou Keita strike.

"After the first game the technical team and the players were not happy. At the moment, we've psyched ourselves up and we are fully prepared," Appiah said. "As to any anxiety, we believe it's not going to be easy but we are going to give all our best.

"Mali has got a very good team. We played two games with them during the Cup of Nations last year and this year. They are one of the countries who have won their first game and it shows that they are a very good side.

"We will go out there and give them one of our best games. I have had lots of information on them but it is important that we plan our own strategies and make sure that they don't play a different tactic."

Ghana will be without striker Richmond Boakye-Yiadom for the match in Port Elizabeth after he failed to recover from an ankle injury, while West Ham striker Modibo Maiga will feature for Mali after missing their opener with a thigh problem.

Despite victory in their opening match, Mali coach coach Patrice Carteron is wary about facing a side he believes are comparable to one of European football's powerhouses.

"Ghana are the 'Germany' of Africa," he said. "They are always up there at the Nations Cup and, above all, they have a very good mentality, just like the Germans.

"We will, therefore, have to be prepared for a battle against such a team, but our win over Niger has boosted confidence."

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