Mali U-20 coach Fanyeri Diarra said his side deserved their top spot finish in the Group B of the African Youth Championship Senegal 2015.
The Malians defeated Ghana 1-0 in M’Bour in their final group stage encounter on Sunday , to extend their winning run following back-to-back wins over Zambia and South Africa.
A lone goal from Ichaka Diarra in the 18 th minute proved enough for the young Eagles to grab the three points and secure their leadership.
Mali will face hosts Senegal in Dakar on Thursday for a spot in the final of the continental tournament. And while Fanyeri Diarra admits the Lions will benefit from the home advantage, he believes they have what it takes to go all the way.
“We played with a free mind against Ghana and we won. We never had a specific preference for any team, and now we are going to face the hosts, Senegal,” Diarra said at the post-match press conference.
“I think it is going to be tough as they play at home. They will have the 12 th man behind them. But fans will come from both sides and also support the Malian players.
“The match will be played on the pitch and not in the stands. I disagree with the idea that we won our games unconvincingly. We always played well, not just today.
“The most important was to win and we did it.”
Mali will represent Africa at the U-20 FIFA World Cup New-Zealand 2015 with Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal.
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