The eighth final between Mali and Ivory Coast Monday in Suez (16h GMT) will also be a derby between two neighboring countries in West Africa. The Eagles, who have never beaten the Elephants in the African Cup, want to defeat the curse and continue their adventure. A few hours before this shock, the two coaches spoke about this much awaited meeting on the side of Bamako and Abidjan. Selected pieces
From our special envoys in Cairo and Suez,
Ibrahim Kamara, coach of Côte d'Ivoire : " We are not going to make a specific preparation for Mali. Because we have players who are already prepared for this kind of matches. There is just one job that highlights all aspects of a knockout match. It will take a lot of concentration because the slightest mistake will be paid. Mali is a great team, with a good midfielder and offensive players who are very interesting. We are warned . "
Mohamed Magassouba, Mali coach : " We had a very good first phase. We have values. We are convinced that if we build on our values and strengths, we will continue our adventure no matter who stands in front of us. Our basic philosophy is not to muzzle or target an opponent. We have prepared a team to play a CAN. It means everything We are ready to approach this match with serenity and determination .
CAN 2019: Mali will challenge Côte d'Ivoire in eighths
History, advantage Ivory Coast?
Ibrahim Kamara : " It will not look at the history of meetings ( Editor's note : Ivory Coast won three of the four games against Mali at the CAN, for a draw), nor bookmakers bets. To see the poster, we say that Ivory Coast is a favorite, but we do not have the same generation as the one who won all the time. In view of the recent results between Côte d'Ivoire and Mali, the gap is getting closer. It's up to us to draw on what is our strength right now. Our ability to use our mind to win the game. Nothing will be easy, it will be very difficult. Mali loses fewer games, it wins a lot and cash little goals. The equation, we know it, we will try to solve it . "
Mohamed Magassouba : " What is certain is that we have a new philosophy on which we have built our team. If this philosophy continues, I dare to believe that there will be no psychological obstacle. History is for historians. We are technicians. If it were history, some nations would not be here. We are calm and I can tell you that it's up to each team to build their own story. We have in mind that football is not built by history but by the forces of the day and those in the presence. The strength of the day is Ivory Coast with a new backbone, new players, a new coach and the same for Mali. "
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Ready for the derby ...
Ibrahim Kamara : " I honestly think that boys are ready. What is important to note is that out of the 23 that we have, there are 6 who have already played a quarter-final of CAN. This perspective alone should be enough to motivate them. After that, it's still a football game and not the war, even if it's true that you have to go to battle. They are ready to do it and we will do everything to win this game . "
Mohamed Magassouba : " Before coming to Egypt, our philosophy was to take match by match and that's what we apply. We will have another phase in front of us and mentally we are prepared to approach it. We will negotiate this final stage with a lot of commitment, determination and above all, with know-how. The know-how is very decisive because you have to know how to negotiate your strong moments, also know how to manage your down times. In this respect, we are sufficiently equipped to face our adversaries . "
► Also read: Calendar, results and standings of the Africa Cup