Hosts Cameroon face debutants Comoros at Olembe Stadium in Yaounde on Monday for the account of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Round of 16.
Between the five-time champions and the newcomers, dreams seem high for a place in the quarterfinals.
Antonio Conceiçao’s team seems confident about the rest of the competition.
The teammates of Vincent Aboubakar, best player and scorer in the group stage, continue their preparation in serenity with the quarterfinals as their sights.
According to the Indomitable Lions head coach Antonio Conceiçao, their main objective is to win but they must respect their opponent.
“We must respect our opponent of the day even if they are playing their first AFCON,” Conceicao said.
“We are calmly preparing our meeting and our objective remains clear, the February 6th final.”
“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,” he added.
Meanwhile, Comoros will have to play an outfield player in goal for Monday’s game after all three of their goalkeepers are unavailable.
There are 12 cases of COVID-19 within the squad, with two of Comoros’ three goalkeepers testing positive. Moyadh Ousseini and Ali Ahamada are self-isolating, and will miss the round of 16 match.
Their third keeper, Salim Ben Boina, is out injured. Head coach, Amir Abdou, has also tested positive for the virus.
“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 goalkeepers coach Daniel Padovani said.
There have been just two meetings between Cameroon and Comoros. The visitors are winless in both attempts as the Indomitable Lions have won one and drawn the other.
The two teams last faced off in qualifiers for the last edition of the Africa Cup of Nations. Cameroon won the game 3-0.