‘We expected such resilience from Mauritania’ – Burkina Faso Coach

Hubert Vellud – Head Coach of Burkina Faso has admitted their win against Mauritania was a difficult one, as they only managed to pick a late win in the later stages of the game.

Bertrand Traore scored late from the spot to hand Burkina Faso their first win of the TotalEnergies CAF AFCON Côte d’Ivoire 2023 and that was Hubert Velud’s first win.

At a post-match press conference, the Coach said ‘We won the game in a more difficult situation, it is even more difficult looking at where the game travelled to,’ he said.

Mauritania’s resolute performance was expected by Hubert Velud and was not surprised with where the game travelled to.

‘We expected such a tough game from Mauritania so we were not surprised because first AFCON games are very balanced.

‘First half was a little balanced, we didn’t create enough chances, our opponent took advantage of our deficiencies,’ he concluded.

Velud credited his triumph to the second half substitution which says changed the game.

‘Second half, Mauritania plunged physica
lly, we were much more dangerous than them, we also had more impact with the changes,’ he concluded.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Namibia stuns Tunisia in group opener

Minnows Namibia shocked North African giants Tunisia with a lone victory at the 2023 TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations in Cote D’ Ivoire.

In a cagey Group E match, both sides created few chances but unable to utilize them until the Brave Warriors’ late thunderbolt stole the points for the South Africans.

The Carthage Eagles dominated possession but struggled to penetrate a resolute Namibian backline marshalled by Ivan Kamberipa.

Captain Youssef Msakni tested Lloyd Kazapua with a curled effort, but the Tunisians grew frustrated as the game wore on, with the Brave Warriors lacking the attacking spark.

But their tireless industry and organisation kept a star-studded Tunisia at bay.

As a famous upset loomed ever larger, the minnows delivered a hammer blow in the 89th minute.

Deon Hotto latched onto a long ball over the top and outpaced the defence before coolly slotting past Bechir Ben Said.

The Orlando Pirates winger thought he had doubled the lead when the offside flag denied him another historic
strike.

But one goal was enough as Namibia’s warriors held on for the clean sheet to claim a monumental three points.

But this shock victory over one of Africa’s giants has given them a good chance of qualifying as Namibia tops Group E with three points as South Africa prepare to play Mali in the group’s other game on the day.

The Carthage will have to recover against Mali on January 20 while Namibia come up against regional foes South Africa on January 21.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Traore’s late strike earns Burkina Faso win over Mauritania

Bernard Traore’s late strike gave Burkina Faso all three points in their opening game of the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations against Burkina Faso.

Mauritania who are yet to have their first win at the AFCON, may have to wait a bit longer, though they exhibited quality delivery especially in the first half and created some decent chances which were not converted.

Burkina Faso’s goalkeeper Havre Koffi came through for the Stallions on some occasions where needed.

Bertrand Traore came on for Cedric Badolo to provide more attacking threats for Hubert Velud’s side.

He nearly scored the opener after he curled from the penalty box but was denied by Babacar Niasse.

Issa Kabore was brought down in the box at the closing stages of the game. After VAR review, a penalty was awarded to Burkina Faso.

Substitute Bertrand Traore stepped up and converted for Burkina Faso to win all three points and ensure their tournament is on course.

Burkina Faso would play Algeria next on January 20 in their next game.

So
urce: Ghana News Agency

Ghanaian fans optimistic of Black Stars’ comeback against Egypt

After the disappointing defeat to Cape Verde in Ghana’s first Group B match at the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON), some Ghanaian fans are optimistic of a better performance in the next game against Egypt on Thursday.

Cape Verde shocked the Black Stars to a 2-1 defeat last Sunday to occupy the summit of the table with three points while Ghana stayed at the bottom.

Egypt and Mozambique occupy the second and third positions with a point each after their pulsating two all draw in the other Group B encounter.

Unperturbed by the setback, some Ghanaian fans here in Abidjan are looking forward to a massive comeback against Egypt to ensure the team qualifies to the next stage of the competition.

With the national team usually slow starters to tournaments, they believe that the Black Stars can secure three points against the Pharaohs.

Speaking to the media, Kwame Owusu, a Ghanaian said, with a proper lineup for Thursday’s game, Ghana would beat Egypt and qualify to the next stage.

‘We can get three point
s against Egypt and probably beat Mozambique to qualify. The team must just get things right this time,’ he said.

The Chief Drummer for the Black Stars, Joseph Langabel who blamed the players for their abysmal performance in the first game, said there was always room for improvement.

‘This kind of football by the Black Stars is clearly unacceptable. They play as if there is nothing at stake and would at the end, break our hearts,’ he stated.

‘They really need to sit up in the next game, otherwise we would not qualify to the next stage of the competition,’ he stressed.

Afua Serwaa, who was hoping to hit the streets of Abidjan to celebrate Ghana’s victory said, ‘I am sure there would be victories in subsequent games. We must trust the boys to deliver.

‘Dede Ayew and his team must win the next match to compensate Ghanaians for the heartbreak,’ she added.

Meanwhile, in expressing their confidence ahead of the next game, the fans stormed a local restaurant, Maquis Du Val to celebrate ahead of Thursday’s game
.

Numbering over 100, they sang jama songs and other local melodies amidst wild dance moves much to the admiration of staff and patrons of the restaurant.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Gambian Coach will seek improvement against Guinea

Tom Saintfiet Head Coach of The Gambian national team, has said his side will seek to improve on their game, when they meet Guinea on Friday, in the second round of matches of Group C in the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations.

The Scorpions of Gambians were walloped by Senegal in their opening match on Monday, and the Coach has admitted his team was poor in the match.

Speaking after the match, the coach apologized for the result and gave credit to the defending champions for a clinical display.

‘We are sorry for this result. We wanted our performance to be better than this. We tried everything we could to come back with the result.

‘After conceding early, Senegal was more effective and better organised, which was decisive in the match,’ said a dejected Saintfiet.

‘We did not create many chances in the match. The big problem in the first half is that we were unable to find our footing. We lost 3-0 and this is considered a major defeat, and losing a man also made things worse for us,’ he added.

Comme
nting on the team’s chances for the rest of the competition, the coach said: ‘We would prepare well and we would be ready for the Guinea match. I know that we would be ready. Things have become difficult for us now, especially after losing by three. We need 4 points to qualify, so there is still hope,’ he added.

Source: Ghana News Agency

‘The Black Stars must up their game in subsequent matches’

Following the Black Star’s defeat on Sunday against Cape Verde in the 2023 African Cup of Nations tournament (AFCON), some concerned Ghanaians have advised the team to up their game in subsequent matches.

The Black Stars of Ghana suffered a 2-1 loss to Cape Verde in their first match of the tournament in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, at the group stage.

As a result, the team has landed itself at the bottom of Group B with no point, while Cape Verde has three points, topping the group with Egypt and Mozambique having a point each after their draw game.

Mr Alfred Ocran, a phone shop owner, told the Ghana News Agency that the outcome of the game was not what Ghanaians expected and that the team must make amends in their next match.

‘The players have to be aware that they have no choice than to get favorable results in their next match’ he said.

He added that the Black Stars ought to have a ‘win mentality’ as expected of them by the President and Ghanaians in general.

Mr Peter Manu, a Sports Analyst, urged the Bl
ack Stars to train harder and come stronger in their subsequent matches.

The Black Stars of Ghana would take on Egypt on Thursday before playing with Mozambique in the last match of the group stages.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Senegal hammers The Gambia, as they search for a successful title defence

Reigning Africa Champions Senegal sent a strong signal to the rest of the teams in the competition, with an emphatic 3-0 win over The Gambia in their opening match of the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

It was an early strike from Pape Gueye and a second half brace from Lamine Camara that ensured this total victory for the defending champions at Yamoussoukro’s Stade Charles Konan Banny.

The Gambians, who were quarter-finalists in the last edition were outclassed by the reigning champions, though they tried tried re-grouping and fighting their way back into the match, but were met by a resolute and disciplined Senegalese defence.

It became worse when Ebrima Adams was sent off for an early shower after a vicious tackle on the young Lamine Camara just before the break and this ensured two more goals in the second half.

Senegal would take on Cameroon in a mouth-watering tie on Friday, 19 January.

Senegal national team coach, Aliou Cisse expressed his satisfaction the output of his team sayin
g the team did well under the trying conditions of the heat and played well despite the challenges.

‘I am very satisfied with the performance of the players, especially since things were difficult given the climatic conditions and heat that we faced. We will continue to work hard on a few things that need to be rectified but overall, I am very happy with this victory’, said the coach.

On the young sensation, Lamine Camara who put up a TotalEnergies Man of the Match performance on his TotalEnergies CAF AFCON debut, Cisse boldly stated that it was his time to shine.

‘Lamine Camara is a young player, and his time has come. He scored two goals against Gambia and gave a distinguished performance on the field. The young player must be trusted and developed,’ he added.

Source: Ghana News Agency