After a strong display of African football talents in the first Group matches at the ongoing TotalEnergies AFCON 2021 in Cameroon, the stage is set for the commencement of the second group matches, beginning with Group A.
The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon will aim at three points to qualify for the next round of the competition when they face Ethiopia today, Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 4pm GMT. Cameroon came from a goal down to beat the Stallions of Burkina Faso 2-1 at the opening day of the tournament, courtesy of two penalty goals from skipper, Vincent Aboubacar.
The Host will be happy to continue its momentum today with another win to secure a place in the round of 16 even though its performance in the opening day was not up to standards.
Antonio Conceiçao, Indomitable Lions coach will count on an already established squad for a match which promises to be within his reach against an Ethiopian team which returns to TotalEnergies AFCON after missing the last three editions (2015, 2017 and 2019).
“We prepared our match in the best conditions and with the same determination as the first match played and won against Burkina Faso. All the players are ready for Thursday’s meeting”.Cameroon’s coach, Antonio Conceiçao
On the side of the Ethiopians, the team only thinks of forgetting the stinging 1-0 defeat last Sunday against Cape Verde to brighten its chances of qualifying for the next round of the tournament.
Winners of the 1962 edition, the Walya will rely on an offensive tactical scheme to unlock the game from the start. For Ethiopia’s coach Wubetu Abate, today’s game will be decisive.
“We will play our chances to the end, especially as we will face a great team from Cameroon. We are proud to represent our country in this tournament and that boosts us even more. We will play against the host country, in front of their home crowd. It is a strong opponent but we will do our best to have a good game”.Wubetu Abate
Cape Verde vs Burkina Faso
The Paul Biya Stadium in Olembe will host, on Thursday from 19:00 GMT, the second Group A match between Cape Verde and Burkina Faso. This is the first encounter between Cape Verde and Burkina Faso in the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations. The Stallions, after its frustrating opening day defeat against Cameroon, will play all their cards against the Cape Verdeans to relaunch the competition and hope for a place in the next round.
Burkina Faso’s coach, Kamou Malo, who returns to the team after a few days of absence due to COVID-19, said the match against Cape Verde will be decisive. He indicated that “we have recovered several players for our meeting on Thursday. We will play with all our strength to win this match and go as far as possible”.
For its third appearance in TotalEnergies AFCON, Cape Verde want to do better than in 2013 when the Blue Sharks reached the quarter-finals. The Cape Verdeans, who had a good start in Cameroon last Sunday with a narrow 1-0 victory against Ethiopia, hope to repeat their performance today against Burkina Faso, even if their mission will not be easy.
Assistant coach Humberto Bettencourt said at the pre-match interview that “we have some absentees, of course, but we have made a good preparation for this match against Burkina Faso and we will play a different game than the first match to try to win the three points and thus, secure a place in the next round of the competition”.
Cameroon and Cape Verde occupy the first and second places in Group A respectively with 3 points each but the Host has an advantage having scored two goals in the opening game.