Mali coach Henryk Kasperczak believes CAF should find a better way to separate teams with identical records for future Africa Cup of Nations tournaments, but it prepared to accept his team’s fate when they draw lots later on Thursday.
The Eagles and Syli Nationale of Guinea played to a 1-1 draw in their final Group D Match on Wednesday, meaning they ended in second and third place (behind group winners and quarterfinal qualifiers Ivory Coast) and have identical records.
A drawing of lots will be conducted later today to determine which of the two progresses into the last eight.
“We now need to respect the rules, we don’t have choice. We are going to shake before the draw, as will the Guineans. We will have to find a more sporting formula,” said Kasperczak.
The Polish coach feels that his team had enough chances to win the match outright and avoid the 50-50 situation of drawing lots.
“The team confirmed their qualities. The turning point of the game was the penalty missed by Seydou Keita,” said Kasperczak.
“We have a lot of regrets with all the chances we had. We were in control in the second half but couldn’t convert our opportunities. But overall it remains a great satisfaction.
“We are not happy with the result as we deserved better. We played in their own half which means that the team is good.”
The Polish coach refused to blame Keita for his penalty miss, insisting that even great players sometimes make a mistake from the spot.
“Keita was disappointed to miss the penalty at a key moment. If we had equalised, it would have changed our attitude and our game. Some great players missed penalties. It is unfortunate for him like for us.”