Mali coach Patrice Carteron says they are ready to take on Ghana four days before they play the Black Stars at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
The Eagles will play the four-time champions in Port Elizabeth in Thursday insisting their win over Niger in their opening Group B match has boosted their morale.
The Eagles earned the first victory of this year’s finals as all the teams in Group A drew their matches on Saturday, while in Group B Ghana threw away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It was none other than Mali captain and veteran midfielder Seydou Keita who scored the only goal in the 84th minute, and Mali, along with the Black Stars, are favoured to top this group.
The French coach has warned the Black Stars that their win over Niger has given then the confidence to face the Ghanaian head-on.
“It was a difficult game against a very defensive team like Niger,” Carteron told BBC.
“But I’m happy for the players because they have worked hard and this win will boost confidence for the next match against Ghana.”
Meanwhile, Niger coach Gernot Rohr was pleased with his side’s performance, despite the result, saying: “We tried our best against a top team like Mali.
“My players have great fighting spirit and big hearts, so you can be happy even when they lose.”
Port Elizabeth soccer fans will be in for a treat this Thursday as Ghana takes on Mali at 5pm before the DR Congo faces Niger at 8pm.