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HomeNewsAFCON 2023: Guinea-Bissau arrive in Cote d’Ivoire

AFCON 2023: Guinea-Bissau arrive in Cote d’Ivoire

Guinea-Bissau coach Baciro Candé says they want to reach the knockout stages of the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations after arriving in Cote d’Ivoire on Sunday to participate in the tournament.

The Djurtus became the second side to arrive in the West African country to participate in the tournament when they touched down at Abidjan’s Félix Houphouët-Boigny Airport for the continental showpiece event.

Coach Candé and his team were greeted by a traditional Ivorian welcome drumming and dancing as well as dozens of their compatriots who had gathered at the airport as they prepared to face the host nation in the opening match of the competition on Saturday.

Drawn to play in Group A, Guinea-Bissau will face a tough challenge as they will also play Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea in the group.

The Djurtus will be making their fourth appearance at the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations and will have the honor of playing the opening match on Saturday against the host country at the Alassane Ouattara Olympic Stadium in Ebimpe.

The first coach to qualify his country for the most prestigious sporting event in Africa in 2017, the 56-year-old coach Candé will be making his fourth appearance in the tournament and at the helm of the side.

Saturday’s opening match will be the second experience of Guinea-Bissau in playing in the opening match of the competition after featuring in the opening game of the 2017 edition in Gabon with Candé in charge.

“I’m 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,” assured Candé in an interview with upon their arrival in Abidjan on Sunday.

Drawn into a challenging Group A, alongside Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, and Equatorial Guinea, Candé and his team hope to create a surprise by advancing to the knockout stage for the first time.

“Our goal is to finally get past the first round. It’s 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,” declared the coach.

Guinea-Bissau will face Equatorial Guinea on the second matchday scheduled for January 18, 2024, in Group A.

They will conclude the group stage with another challenge against Nigeria on January 22 at the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan.

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