The Round of 16 of the ongoing TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon 2021 kicks off on Sunday, with Burkina Faso and Gabon locking horns in Limbe.
Both finished their groups in second place, and a win on Sunday means a place amongst the Big Eight of African football.
- Date: 23 January 2022
- Time: 17:00 local time (16:00 GMT)
- Venue: Limbe Stadium, Limbe
- Round of 16
- Match: Burkina Faso vs Gabon
- Burkina Faso – Memories of 2013
Few days before this TotalEnergies AFCON kickoff, Burkina Faso defeated Gabon 3-0 in a Dubai-based friendly. This might serve as a morale booster for The Stallions, who aim at repeating their 2013 feat when they went all the way through to the final.
After an opening game 2-1 defeat to hosts Cameroon, Burkina Faso defeated Cape Verde 1-0 before being held to a 1-1 draw with Ethiopia. Four points were enough to see them finish second in Group A, but the Burkinabe will be looking for more sharpness if they are to continue their run.
With his young and talented squad, coach Kamou Malo can count on the likes of Bertrand Traoré, Abdoul Fessal Tapsoba and his experienced defender Issoufou Dayo.
What they said
- Kamou Malo (Coach, Burkina Faso)
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. 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.
- Edmond Tapsoba (Defender, Burkina Faso)
We're a little stressed, it's the round of 16, a must-win match. We're going to try to live up to the event. After our defeat against Cameroon, we were able to climb the slope with courage and selflessness. This AFCON is one of the finest competitions in the world, it is an honour for me to represent my country. Our ambition is to go as far as possible.
- Gabon – Panthers on mission
After seeing key stars Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mario Lemina ruled out due to illness, not so many expected Gabon to produce such inspired performances. But the Panthers were a pleasure to watch in the first round.
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.
What they said
- Patrice Neveu (Coach, Gabon)
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. 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.
* Alex Mouketou-Moussounda (Midfielder, Gabon)*
We will give our best to win the match. We are driven by the spirit of conquest, to make our public and our country proud. It is a pride for me to defend the colours of my homeland. Each player must give the maximum to make the team better. We play against Burkina Faso to win.