Lions against Gambia

Cameroon Vs Gambia, Another Historic Match For Debutants

By Etienne Mainimo

The show down between the host of the Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON 2021, Cameroon and debutants, Gambia is promising to be historic given that the two countries will be meeting for the third time.

In two previous encounters at the qualifiers of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon had emerged victorious in the home and away games thrashing them three nil aggregate.

But between 2016 and 2022, a lot has changed and a lot is still changing. Qualified for their very first AFCON, Gambia is turning every obstacle into a solution.

Their recent outstanding performance especially against Tunisia and Mauritania in the group stage and conjuring Guinea in the 16th finals is a major strive for The Scorpions who are looking forward in winning their fourth game.

Coach Tom Saintfiet and boys are working hard to over power host nation, Cameroon whom since the beginning of the competition have continued to enjoy home support.

So far, the attacking machinery of the lions seems to be in fine form scorning nine goals and conceding four.

This may be an added advantage to the Lions facing the opponents next Saturday January 29 but they would have be very careful and quickly repair their shattered defence if they want to neutralise the Gambians.

The recent output of the Lions has not been very consistent and admired by its fans but overpowering Gambia and booking their ticket for the semi-finals is a possible issue if they ameliorate their tactics.

On paper, Cameroon are the favourites but Gambia have been one of the surprise parcels of the tournament.

Despite being neophytes, they have remained a point of attraction, a key reason they have had a sturdy defense that has kept five clean sheets in their last seven matches.

But Saturday has the last word…

Cape Verde Coach

AFCON 2021: “We Will Capitalize On Lions’ Weaknesses To Win”-Pedro Brito

By Etienne Mainimo

Cape Verde Cameroon is the last group A game to be played at the Olembe Stadium on January 17, 2022. Cape Verde deptuty coach Leitao Pedro Brito is upbeat they would capitalize on the few faults of Lions to win the game and qualify for the next stage.

“We are an organise compact team and ready for the game. We should equally display a good altitude in the pitch to be able to make a difference when the need arises. It is true that the weaknesses of our opponent are not many but we capitalized on them and do all to win the game.”, the coach stated.

We are going to play each game as they come but what is important is that we have to be consistent and offensive given that Cameroon has players that can make a difference. We should either grab a victory or a draw., he added.

Cape Verde would be meeting Cameroon without a player who tested positive for Covid-19.

Right from their preparatory matches right up to this moment, Cape Verde has bee training with less than 15 players, Brito said.

“Since we came here, we don’t have the opportunity to do our job well. We play under difficult moments due to covid and also had difficulties to deploy our strategy.”

Like Cameroon, Cape Verde came to the competition without friendly matches and the ones we programmed didn’t take place and that was going to boast our preparations, Brito concluded.

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AFCON 2021:Sierra Leone Holds Defending Champions, Algeria To A Goalless Draw

By Etienne Mainimo

Sierra Leone, one of the underdogs of the ongoing 2021 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON has surprisingly held defending champions, Algeria to a goalless draw.

Great saves by goalkeeper Mohammed Kamara of Sierra Leone gave defending champion Algeria surprising moments in Douala, Cameroon as the two teams settled for 0-0 draw in their first Group Game of the 2021 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON.

Even though Algeria dominated the game, it was Sierra Leone who had a good number of chances in the first period of the game.

Even though Algeria came close to opening, the score in the second minute but Sierra Leone came storming back down the other end and were close to scoring at the sixth minute.

However, Yacine Brahimi missed a celebrated chance as Steven Caulker denied substitute Sofiane Bendebka what had looked an open goal.

Again, Mahrez golden opportunity to put Algeria on the lead was denied after goalkeeper Kamara brilliantly stopped it.

Despite the results, Algeria extend their unbeaten run to 35 matches, putting them within touching distance of the record of 37 undefeated internationals in a row set by European champions Italy last year.

It is worth noting that Sierra Leone celebrated the draw as if they won the match given that they were returning to the tournament for the first time since 1996.

Equatorial Guinea is expected to take on Ivory Coast in the second Group E game in Douala

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AFCON 2021: We Are Preparing To Give Our Best Shot – Cape Verde Coach


By Etienne Mainimo


Less than 24 hours to the start of the Cameroon 2021 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON,  the assistant coach of Cape Verde, Humberto Bettencourt says they are preparing to give their best shot when they take on Ethiopia in their first game. 


Humberto Bettencourt was speaking hours to their first match programed for January 9 at the Olembe stadium in Yaounde. 


“We are preparing to give our best shot tomorrow. We trust all our players and those selected will help to implement what we have put in place,” the coach said.


“We will do everything to look good and win this game. It is true that we are in the same group with hosts Cameroon, one of the great teams on the continent, but we are concentrating on our first opponent before thinking about the other matches,” he added.


To him, “We have all necessary information concerning our opponent and it has help prepares well. What is important is that we have nothing but our skills and objective. We are ready for the match.” 


According Cape Verde’s Defender, Dos Santos Tavares aka “Stopira”, “We are here in Cameroon to play good football, to have fun and to do our best to go as far as possible in the competition. We respect all our opponents the same way. We take our games one by one to achieve our goals.”


Cape Verde takes on Ethiopia in the second match of the 2021 AFCON. The 33rd edition taking place in Cameroon will see 24 nations participating. Cameroon host country will take on Burkina Faso in the first game. The victor will replace Algeria, host of the 2019 edition.

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AFCON2021:We Are Ready In All Aspects To Be A Better Team – Ethiopian Coach


By Etienne Mainimo 


Ethiopia Coach, Abate Wubetu says they are ready in all aspects to be a better team in their group. Coach Wubate made the statement during a pre-match press conference that took place on January 8 in Yaounde.


The match conference took place a day to their first match of the 2021 Cameroon TatalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON. The games will take place in Cameroon from January 9 to February 6, 2022.


“We were the first team to come to Cameroon and we are happy we took that decision. We are ready in all aspects to be a better team in our group. I respect all teams. Cameroon and Burkina Faso are strong team and have quality players but we are ready to show our character itch,” the coach said.


“We have very young players but we are confident with the team. It is time to show what we have on the field. Nobody expected us to qualify but we did,” he added. 


To Wubetu, “it is going to be the first time that players will be playing a football game using the Video Assistant Referee, VAR since most of their players are locally base. We are very fine with it.”


Ethiopia, who are Group A alongside host country, Cameroon will face Cape Verde in the second match of the competition at the Olembe Stadium on January 9.

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Burkina Faso Calls For Transparency In COVID-19 Testing


By Etienne Mainimo


Team officials of the Burkina Faso’s national football team have called on authorities of the Confederation of African Football, CAF to do everything possible to ensure transparency as far as COVID-19 testing is done. 


The Deputy Coach, Firmin Sanou and Team Captain, Bertrand Troare made the statement during a pre-match press conference as the team prepares towards confronting Cameroon in the opening game of the 2021 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of nations, AFCON on January 9 in Yaounde.

The statement came on the heels of alleged manipulation of results.  
Firmin Sanou said, “…The protocol for COVID test was not respected because we had our test at 11pm last night instead of 48 hours as it is supposed to be. It is unacceptable and we want to know why they were two health teams that came to our hotel.”


Taking the floor, Bertrand Troare said, “We can’t be told at the eve of our match that some of our players will not take part in the match. It is unacceptable and we were told that the of the two health team that came to our hotel, one was not from CAF. The authorities need to rethink and see into the organization of this. There must be transparency.”


“if a group want to come and do the test, it must be from CAF and must be transparent for everything to be clear,” he added.

Burkina Faso have filed an official complain to CAF. Meanwhile Cameroon Health Minister, Manaouda Malachie has reacted saying CAF is responsible for testing teams and officials.

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AFCON2021: We Are Going To Do Everything Possible For Victory Against Burkina Faso – Cameroon Coach


By Etienne Mainimo 


Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions head coach, António Conceição says, everything will be done to secure victory over Burkina Faso in the opening game of the Cameroon 2021 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON on January 9.


Speaking in a pre-match press conference at the Olembe Stadium in Yaounde, Conceição said he is aware of their responsibilities but must be stay focused.


“…It is going to be difficult but our determination is to make sure we play good football tomorrow. We are all aware of what Cameroonian await from us. We are in good shape and ready for tomorrow,” he said.


Conceicao stated, “We know our responsibility and we know what the public wants but we are going to do everything possible to have a victory against Burkina Faso. Our team is at it best now. It is a long journey but I trust my team.”


On his part, team captain, Vincent Aboubakar said, the team in camp is calm and working towards success. To him, it is about team spirit, which he knows will be delivered when the team kick-start its campaign toward becoming champions.

 
Cameroon will face Burkina Faso on January 9 at the Olembe Sport stadium in the opening match of the 33rd edition of the 2021 TotalEnergies AFCON.

Ethiopia and Cape Verte will faced each other in the second match of the day.
24 nations are participating in a tournament that is expected to end on February 6 with the one team succeeding the 2019 champions, Algeria.

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AFCON 2021: Stallion’s Captain Confident Of Victory At Opener


By Etienne Mainimo


The captain of the Burkina Faso senior football team, Bertrand Troare says, they are confident of grabbing a victory when they take on host Cameroon in the opening match of the Cameroon 2021 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON on January 9.


In a pre-match press conference, Bertrand Troare stressed that the most important thing is to stay focused, uphold the same fighting spirit they had during the World Cup qualifying campaign. During the press conference was also the Deputy Coach, Firmin Sanou.


“…Tomorrow’s games would be different from the one we played with Algeria because we are playing against the host country. The most important thing is to stay focused in our game and show the same fighting spirit displayed during the World Cup qualifying campaign,” he said.


He added, “I think everything will be fine and I have full confidence in the team and we ready to show we are here to do something and get something. We are going to show that tomorrow.”


Burkina Faso will confront Cameroon in the opening game of the 2021 AFCON that begins on Sunday January 9 to February 6, 2022.

President Paul Biya would take the front seat at the 60,000 seater Olembe Stadium and fans are upbeat Cameroon does not lose their home games.

Many have gotten their Covid-19 tests and tickets ready for the encounter tomorrow.