Burkina Faso head coach Kamou Malo claims that his target is to lead Burkina Faso to victory in order to show pride for African coaches as they face off with Gabon.
Burkina Faso and Gabon lock horns in Limbe on Sunday in round of 16 of the ongoing TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations.
Both finished their groups in second place, and a win on Sunday means a place amongst the Big Eight of African football.
“The first objective was to qualify from the group. The team is gaining momentum as it improves. It’s true that we beat Gabon in a friendly, but the context has changed,” Kamou Malo said.
“We respect Gabon, and we are going to have a serious match. We will play to win. It is a personal challenge to succeed in this AFCON, we represent African expertise, African coaches,” he added.
Meanwhile, a 1-0 win over debutants Comoros was followed by a late 1-1 draw with Ghana, and a 2-2 tie with Morocco where Gabon took the lead twice.
Crashing out of the group stage at home in 2017 and failing to qualify to Egypt edition two years later was quickly forgotten.
Patrice Neveu can count on stars like Denis Bouanga, Jim Allevinah and his new captain Ecuele Manga, as The Panthers are looking for more to come.
“We encountered many problems, but we managed and coped with them. We are aware of the importance of this match. We lost our last match against Burkina Faso,” Patrice Neveu said.
“We have drawn conclusions, and we know that Burkina has a good team. We have managed to win back our audience, and we want more than that, as we know we can pass this stage.”
“We have to take our opportunities. The players are focused, and we will be more physically and mentally ready,” he added.
This will be the third Africa Cup of Nations encounter between Burkina Faso and Gabon, with Gabon unbeaten in the previous two meetings.