Bafana Bafana striker Lehlohonolo Majoro has fully recovered from the shin injury he sustained in the 2-0 win over Angola. The striker, who has been training on his own over the last two days, joined the rest of his teammates and finished a full session without pain on Thursday.
Majoro watched from the sidelines as his compatriots launch a spirited fight back against Morocco which saw South Africa qualify for the quarterfinals which will be played on Saturday, 2 February at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
"I am feeling good and I want to believe I have fully recovered. I must just undergo some test to be declared hundred percent fit, but it feels good to be back because I thought I would not take any further part in this tournament when I saw the injury," said Majoro.
"But I still have to fight for my position and given a chance I would love to score because the more you score the higher your confidence grows."
After a great display against Morocco, Bafana Bafana players now have a strong sense of belief and are confident of doing well on Saturday.
"We've watched Mali play and we won't compare them with the other teams we have played, they have good players with great experience. But we will prepare like we have been doing all along, put in all the hard work," said midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane.
"There is pressure all the time; for us the pressure was there even before the start of the tournament but it is the kind of pressure that we have been able to handle. This team has shown character and we hope the same will happen come Saturday."
Forward Thuso Phala said the first round Group matches had toughened the entire team.
"It is always an advantage coming from a tough game to another, having said that, it's always going to be difficult playing one of the top teams on the continent, but we know what we have to do. We just have to focus on our game and not Mali's. They are going to be a handful but it's a challenge we are aware of and ready for," said Phala.
Meanwhile Bafana Bafana wished South African cricket captain Graeme Smith well as he will captain his 100th test match for the Proteas when they face Pakistan on Friday, 1 February. The players and the coaching staff posed with a banner written: CHEERS TO 100 GRAEME, HERE'S TO THE NEXT 100.
Bafana Bafana will have their last training session on Friday afternoon before tackling Mali on Saturday.