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Mbomba confident of recovering in time for final

© Reuters 2002

BAMAKO, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Cameroon's key striker Patrick Mboma says he is confident he will be fit for Sunday's African Nations Cup final after a foot injury ruled him out of the semifinal win over hosts Mali in Bamako.

Mboma, who has scored three goals in four games at the Nations Cup finals in Mali, attended Cameroon's training session on Friday but did not participate in a light kick-about with the other players as the team prepared to defend their title against Senegal.

"I will be OK for the match, it's just not a serious injury," said the Italian-based striker on Friday. But coach Winfried Schafer said he was still not sure about Mboma's fitness and would wait until the day of the match before taking a final decision on including Cameroon's leading goal corer in the starting line-up.

Mboma's replacement in Thursday's semifinal against Mali was Pius Ndiefi, who proved the catalyst for his country's victory with a brilliant performance.

The pace of the Sedan striker set up the opening two goals for Cameroon as they coasted past the hosts in an emphatic 3-0 triumph.

Ndiefi's performance overshadowed that of fellow forward Samuel Eto'o, who is the regular striking partner with

Mboma in the Cameroon side.

"It's a great situation to be in," said coach Schafer. "I have three top strikers now to choose from and although it will be difficult to leave one of them out, it is a delight for me to be able to make that kind of choice."

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