South Africa's May Mahlangu (19) celebrates his goal against Morocco during their African Nations Cup Group A match in Durban January 27, 2013. (Photo : REUTERS/Rogan Ward (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER))
The Africa Cup of Nations knockout round gets started on Saturday with a battle between South Africa and Mali.
The host nation South Africa won Group A with one victory and two draws. Bafana Bafana started the tournament off with a 0-0 draw against Cape Verde but followed it up with a 2-0 win over Angola. In their final group match the South Africans drew 2-2 with Morocco. May Mahlangu and Siyabonga Sangweni provided the South African goals. Siyabonga Sangweni leads the team with two goals in three games. South Africa is looking to reach its first semi-final in this tournament since 2000.
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Mali finished in second place in group B with one win, one loss, and one draw. After winning its opening match 1-0 over Niger, Mali was destroyed 3-0 by Ghana. The team managed to salvage a quarterfinals berth with a 1-1 draw against Congo DR. Mamadou Samassa provided the lone goal for Mali.
Regarding the match, Mali coach Patrice Carteron stated that "Malians back home have not had much to cheer about apart from the Cup of Nations and we will be playing for them."
These teams faced off back in a 2002 quarterfinals. After playing to a 0-0 draw, Mali won 3-2 on the penalty shootout.
South Africa: Siyabonga Sangweni (2)
Mali: Mamadou Samassa, Seydou Keita (1)
Prediction: South Africa is expected to win this game and should do so in front of their home fans; 2-0 South Africa.
Start Time: 10 AM EST