Tunisia and Angola said they would play to win when they meet in the African Nations Cup today, even though a draw will send both sides into the quarter-finals.
"I never look to finish second," said the Tunisia coach, Roger Lemerre, adding that he would not pay any attention to the result of the other Group D match between Senegal and South Africa, who meet at the same time in Kumasi. "We have a match tomorrow which we want to win," he said. "If we play for a draw, we could give Angola a chance to get near our area and snatch a goal." But Lemerre added: "The strategy at the beginning of the match is not always the same at the end."
The Frenchman also said he wanted to finish top of the group so his team could stay in Tamale for their quarter-final. The teams go into the match with four points each from their first two games while South Africa and Senegal have one apiece.
"Every time we go on to the pitch, we go to win even if the other team is better," said the Angola coach, Luis Oliveira Goncalves. "We are not going to play for a draw, we will play for a win, although it would be difficult," said Goncalves, whose team produced a shock 3-1 win over Senegal on Sunday. "It's going to be another very difficult game against title candidates. We've prepared very well, we believe we can play a great game."
The Ghana midfielder Michael Essien will not attend tomorrow's African Footballer of the Year ceremony in Lomé, Togo, his coach, Claude LeRoy, said. The Chelsea player has been shortlisted with his club team-mate Didier Drogba of Ivory Coast, the Mali midfielder Mahamadou Diarra and striker Frédéric Kanouté and the Arsenal forward Emmanuel Adebayor of Togo. Ghana play their African Nations Cup quarter-final against Nigeria in Accra on Sunday.
Kodzo Samlan, a press officer with the African Confederation, said: "The players will leave Accra in a plane, it's just a 15-minute flight. Then the ceremony will be over by 9pm and two hours later they'll be back in Accra."
Today at the Nations Cup
Tunisia v Angola, 17.00, Tamale. Live on Eurosport and BBCi.
Senegal v South Africa, 17.00, Kumasi. Live on Eurosport and BBCi.Reuse content