This Day (Lagos)

5 February 2013

Nigeria/Mali: Afcon 2013 - Keshi Delighted With Mali 'Re-Union'

Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi has said he is happy to face former team, Mali in the Africa Cup of Nations semi-final on Wednesday.

Keshi managed Mali for two years before being fired after failing to get the team beyond the group phase of the 2010 tournament in Angola.

"It's a good feeling because I had two wonderful years in Mali. The Mali people were so nice and I enjoyed my relationship with the players, some of whom have kept in touch," he said at the pre-match press conference in Durban ahead of Wednesday's clash.

He also admitted that many of the current crop of Mali players are those whom he handled when he was in charge of the Eagles.

Nigeria is yet to lose to Mali in three previous encounters (two of them won by Nigeria and the other drawn), which have produced only four goals but the supercharged Eagles look to go on rampage at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Yakubu Ayegbeni scored the only goal in Mopti to hand Nigeria the bronze medals at the expense of the host nation at the 2002 finals and Jay-Jay Okocha's thunderous free-kick from 35 yards made it 2-1 in another bronze medal match in Monastir at the 2004 finals in Tunisia.

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