Monday, January 24
•Guinea Vs Gambia – 7pm
•Cameroon vs Comoros – 10pm
Comoros will have to use an outfield player in goal for their AFCON round of 16 tie with hosts Cameroon on Monday at the Paul Biya Stadium in Olembe.
The coelacanths have to deal with a goalkeeping crisis – first choice goalkeeper Salim Ben Boina is out injured while the two substitute goalkeepers Ali Ahamada and Moyadh Ousseini were among the several players who returned positive tests!
Head coach Amir Abdou will also miss out after testing positive for Covid19.
“We have already chosen an outfield player who will start in goal,” said Comoros goalkeeping coach Jean Daniel Padovani. “He is a player who has shown good goalkeeping skills while in training.”
“We played our all-out during the group stage and that’s what allowed us to progress to the round of 16. We are experiencing an exceptional situation with several players and staff members affected by COVID-19. We must manage this situation and find the necessary solutions. We will play with the same values, with our usual state of mind.”
Comoros who are playing at AFCON for the very first time, shocked Ghana in their last Group C and eventually book a place in the knockout.
Comoros are set to become the fourth team recently to reach at least the quarter-finals in their first participation at AFCON, after Equatorial Guinea (2012), Cape Verde (2013) and Madagascar (2019).
But it’s the hosts Cameroon who stand in their way to history.
There is no room for error for the Indomitable Lions who have lost just one Africa Cup of Nations match since the beginning of the 2017 edition – losing 3-2 against Nigeria in their Round of 16 match in 2019.
They will bank on influential captain Vincent Aboubakar, who is this tournament’s top scorer so far (5 goals).
Abubakar could become the first player to score more than five goals in a single edition of the Africa Cup of Nations since Egypt’s Hossam Hassan and South Africa’s Benni McCarthy (both 7) in 1998.
Antonio Conceiçao, Cameroon Coach, is quoted by CAF: “We know that we are going against a good team from the Comoros. We have studied our opponent who remains difficult. It is true that it is not a team with a big name, but they have very good players. They are a disciplined team, focused and playing without pressure. The objective for us is to win to go further in the competition.”