Guinea-Bissau coach eyes AFCON progress despite tough competition

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Monday 8 Jan 2024

Guinea-Bissau coach Baciro Cande says his team wants to reach the knockout stage of the anticipated African Cup of Nations for the first time ever despite of the "very tough" competition with other teams in the same group.

 Baciro Cande
Guinea-Bissau coach Baciro Cande. AFP


The Djurtus, who are making their fourth appearance at the prestigious tournament, were drawn in Group A alongside Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria, and Equatorial Guinea.

"Our goal is to finally get past the first round. It is true that our group is very tough with opponents like Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria, and Equatorial Guinea, but anything is possible in football, anything is possible," Cande said in an interview with CAF’s official website after arriving in Cote d’Ivoire on Sunday to participate in the tournament.

Guinea-Bissau will kick off their campaign at the continental tournament with a strong test against hosts Côte d'Ivoire in the opening match on Saturday at the Alassane Ouattara Olympic Stadium in Ebimpe.

The 56-year-old Cande led his country's team to their first qualification for the biggest soccer event in Africa in the 2017 edition where they also played the opening game against hosting country Gabon.

Despite the challenges waiting Guinea-Bissau this time, Cande hopes his team will reach the knockout stage for the first time.

"I am used to it; the first competition I participated in, we played the opening match against Gabon, and we drew (1-1). I know that Côte d'Ivoire is stronger than Gabon, but Guinea-Bissau will do its job, slowly," the coach concluded.

Guinea-Bissau will face Equatorial Guinea in the second game on 18 January before concluding the group stage by facing Nigeria four days later.

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