Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Patrice Carteron calls for Mali focus
Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Patrice Carteron calls on Mali to stay focused after setting up a last-eight tie against South Africa
Patrice Carteron called on Mali to maintain their focus after a draw with the Democratic Republic of Congo secured their place in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals.
Mahamadou Samassa earned the Eagles an all-important point after Dieumerci Mbokani had opened the scoring from the penalty spot early on.
Carteron was relieved to secure the result and Mali’s progress to the knockout stages, where they will face tournament hosts South Africa.
“We need to keep up our intensity,” he said. “It was emotionally difficult knowing what was happening in the [Ghana] game and knowing we needed just a point.”
DR Congo’s exit marks the first time coach Claude LeRoy has failed to reach the tournament’s knock-out stages – this is his seventh Afcon appearance.
He was left frustrated by his side’s lack of creativity, but was also quick to congratulate war-torn Mali on their achievement.
“We mastered the game but we didn’t create enough chances,” LeRoy said. “I want to congratulate Mali. I know that this win means a lot for the people of Mali.
“I know that Mali is going through a difficult moment right now, but they are not alone.
“In the Democratic Republic of Congo, we have many internal problems and people have died.”
DR Congo’s disappointment was then compounded by the news that former Newcastle United and Portsmouth man Lomana LuaLua announced his international retirement after the match.