Berthe gets late call up for Nations qualifier

Jomo Cosmos defender Ousmane Berthe has received a late recall to Mali’s squad for their African Nations Cup qualifier in Botswana at the weekend.

The tough tackling Berthe was a member of Mali’s squad that finished third at the last finals in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon earlier this year.

He is one of three late call-ups after Mali’s squad were hit by injury on the eve of their trip to Gaborone.

The squad are in Johannesburg for final preparations before heading to Botswana where they defend a 3-0 lead from the first leg in Bamako last month.

Mali are well placed to qualify for the 2013 finals in South Africa.

Berthe was in the squad for the first leg but dropped by new coach Patrice Carteron for the return game, which will be played on Saturday.

Berthe also received a late call up for the Nations Cup finals earlier this year and went onto to command a regular place in the side, who finished a surprise third.

Berthe, who has had several trials overseas but still been unable to attract an offer from a European club, has been at Cosmos since mid-2009 and played his first game of the new season last weekend.