Mali Not Intimidated By Germany


After knocking out Ghana, one of the tournament's top favourites, Mali have considerably built up their confidence at the ongoing U20 Fifa World Cup in New Zealand.

The junior Eagles will face Germany, another robust side who edged out Nigeria in the round of 16 to book date with Mali in the quarterfinals.

Mali coach Fanyeri Diarra tells that his charges will roll out the same spirited performance that put Ghana to rout.

The Black Satellites were stunned 3-0 by the Malians in one of their best showings so far in the competition.

“We know Germany are a strong and dreaded side. They became even more formidable in the tournament after defeating African champions Nigeria. However, we are no pushovers.

“Ghana were one of the three teams tipped to lift the trophy. They were strong and tactical, but my team was able to dominate them. We took every minute of the game like a war front and my boys were fired up until the last minute,” he said.

“We will do exactly the same thing against Germany in the quarterfinals on Sunday. I don't see them superior to us. At this level of the competition all teams deserve the same respect for reaching here. And so, we will dig it out and see what happens.”

Mali and Senegal are the two surviving African representatives in the tournament after the ousting of Nigeria and Ghana. Diarra feels it is another reason to fight harder so that an African team could reach the semi-finals and beyond.

“African teams are known to be highly successful in international youth competitions. This edition should not be different. We need an African team in the semi-finals and the final. Mali will play their part and we wish Senegal well too.”