Cameroon and Gabon have vowed to contest their last Group A match on Saturday in Port Gentil with pride and passion despite their present predicament at the Total U-17 African Cup of Nations Gabon 2017.
Hosts Gabon are perched at the bottom of the table without a point after losing two previous matches against Guinea (5-1) and Ghana (5-0) while Cameroon salvaged a point in a 1-1 draw with Guinea but their campaign had long been dealt a blow following their opening 4-0 loss to Ghana.
Incidentally, Cameroon and Gabon have met six times at this level (in qualifying tournaments) with Cameroon claiming four wins to Gabon’s two; and the Pantheres’ last being the 1-0 win at home during qualification for the 2009 edition.
We have nothing to look forward to than a very good result in our last group match against Cameroon on Saturday, Gabon’s U-17 trainer, Pierre Mfoumbi told CAFOnline.com
It is also an opportunity for us to see how the boys would react under this difficult situation to defend the honour of our country; we are in a difficult situation but we can handle Cameroon if we can keep our concentration level which would be the key for our survival, added 53-year-old Mfoumbi.
Speaking in the same vein, Coach Bertin Ebwelle said he was not oblivious about the task ahead, insisting that his wards would play like wounded lions against Gabon to have any realistic chance of progressing beyond the preliminary stage.
We don’t have control over what happens in Libreville between Ghana and Guinea but we must come up with a very good result against Gabon; we must win with a good margin, stated the 55-year-old former Cameroonian International. We are going to fight till the very end and it would be great for us to win because tomorrow is our country’s National Day.
In the other Group A match, Ghana with six points already and a semi-final spot will square up against their closest adversary, Guinea who have four points at the Stade de l’Amitie in Libreville.
Bertin Ebwelle (Head Coach, Cameroon)
We are conscious that we must win in order to have a chance of progressing we and he boys have realised how important is this match against Gabon. We must avoid defeat and it is even more important for us to score more goals and our strikers would be called out to get the job done. This is the last group match and we would do our best; we are going to boost the morale of the players because we need a wide margin win against Gabon in order to make it. There are a lot of regrets especially with the loss to Ghana but we would have to wait till the end of the competition to analyse what we did rightly or wrongly.
Boris junior Essele (Goalkeeper, Cameroon)
We would play with a lot of determination and ensure we get the three points. We have trained well and we are hopeful that we would have a very good result against Gabon. The two matches against Ghana and Ghana was hard for us. As the goalkeeper, I would do the best against Gabon and ensure we do not concede goals.
Pierre Mfoumbi (Head Coach, Gabon)
We shall keep on playing with the same manner and objective that we started this competition despite lack of success in our last two previous matches. This is a good group of players and I wish the authority would give me the opportunity to continue with them in order to build a solid team for the future. On the field, we did our best; we were ambitious to qualify for the semi- finals as well as the World Cup and we gave our best in the last two matches. This is a high-level competition and we have learned so much in order to build for the future. I’m happy to have trained these boys but whether I would stay or leave depends on the authorities.
Aziz Giroly (Defender, Gabon)
This is the last match of the group but we would play with the intent of winning at least this match to keep the honour of our country as the host of this tournament. As a team, it pains that we have conceded more goals than any other team in this competition which is very unfortunate because we gave our best performance against Guinea and Ghana; but we have the chance again to redeem our image on Saturday against Cameroon.
Source: Confederation Africaine de Football