We are disappointed. We had a little failure in our tactics and lost focus. I don’t know if it was due to the physical condition, mental and psychological approach to the match. We lost many balls and were not ourselves, and this made it tough for us. We did not play well and Mali deserved to win this game. It’s logical that we lost this game.
Nobody expected us at this level. We have done well. We have to build on this and see what the future holds. This is the first time Cote d’Ivoire has passed the group stage into the semis, so we are moving forward.
Djibril Drame (Head Coach, Mali)
It was a very difficult match technically and tactically. The number 8 (Yves Bissouma) is the best player in my team, but he was suspended. Today, when I realised things were not working, I told him “Kid, I will be taking you on and you have to score; if you don’t score I will take you out. And when he came on he scored”. All the match needed was a coach who knew what to do since both teams were on an equal level.
Our first objective was to go past the group stage. Then it was match after match, and we are not changing that. We will continue working hard. We know our opponent (DR Congo) and we respect them. We will learn from this match (against Cote d’Ivoire).
The final is a different match. Saying DR Congo is the favourite will be too much because the final is not like any other match. We shall see what happens on Sunday.