Neighbors Mauritania and Gambia will start their Group F adventure of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon 2021 with an awaited encounter in Limbe.
Date: 12 January 2022
Time: 17:00 local time (16:00 GMT)
Stadium: Limbe Omnisports, Limbe
Match: Mauritania v Gambia
Mauritania - Mourabitones back for more
After a début appearance in Egypt 2019, Mauritania's Mourabitones are back in the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations with hopes in a better outing.
With the upper hand over neighbors Gambia in head-to-head games, they enter the group opener knowing that a positive result might mean a huge step towards the second round.
There might be a chance for the tournament's youngest player, Lekweiry Beyatt, who only turned 16 last April.
What they said
Dider Gomes da Rosa (Coach, Mauritania)
"I'm satisfied with our preparation in Abu Dhabi. We played 2 friendlies, and we are ready to start our campaign. I benefit from the work done by Corentin Martins, who laid the foundations for this progressive success. Now we had to find momentum, our goal is to be at least in the round of 16. We are calm, realistic, we have to show humility, we will bring a breath of fresh air to this AFCON. Gambia is a good team with very big individuals, it is not a team to be neglected, and they can be the tournament's surprise.
Aboubakar Kamara (Forward, Mauritania)
"It is a pride for me to defend the colors of Mauritania at this high level. We are prepared to be in tune with high goals. We are focused on the objective, it is to take this team to a new level. We have progressedin this transition phase, we have content to look alike. Technically, physically, we are all ready."
Gambia - Scorpions first sting
The Gambia, playing their first ever AFCON finals will also seek a bright opener for their continental big stage debut.
Belgian coach Tom Saintfiet led the Scorpions to achieve their best feat in football, and now he will need one more step forward. He will be depending on the likes of Assan Cessay, Ebrima Darboe, Musa Barrow and others.
What they said
Tom Saintfiet (Coach, Gambia)
"We have ambitions, and we enter this AFCON with deliht. In 51 years, Gambia have not played in an international competition. We will start this competition without pressure.The atmosphere is fantastic. A whole country is concerned. Gambia has fantastic young footballers who want to appear in front of the world. We are not here for tourism but to represent this young nation.
Pa Modou Jagne (Captain, Gambia)
"We wrote history for Gambia with this first AFCON qualification. Now the recreation is over, we will play with our qualities, get into this competition well. We will think of it match by match "