Africa: TotalEnergies AFCON Qualifier - Fighting Spirit Delights Coach Ezzaki As Sudan Down Gabon

Sudan national team head coach Ezzaki Badou said he was delighted with the fighting spirit of his players as they beat Gabon 1-0 in Omdurman on Monday night to keep their hopes of qualification for the 2023 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations squarely on track.

Muhamed Alhaj Kome's brilliant bicycle kick goal in the second half handed the Falcons of Jeddiane maximum points at home as they ensured they remained in contention for a place in the 2023 showpiece with two rounds of matches left.

"The match was very difficult due to the strength of the opponent. We salute our players for their fighting spirit and tactical discipline, especially since I asked them not to rush. The opponent got chances in the first half due to individual mistakes, and it was He is able to put us in a difficult situation, but despite fatigue and fasting, determination and will allowed us to keep the three points in Sudan," the tactician said.

He added; "We still have a lot of work ahead of us. There is a work strategy before the next match, and whoever deserves to be with us in the Sudanese national team, the door is open."

The win saw Sudan scale to second in group I with six points, two ahead of Mauritania who play DR Congo on Tuesday and one behind the Gabonese.

Kome's brilliant goal, connecting to an Athar El Tahir cross from the right in the 67th minute of the match left the Gabonese keeper rooted to his spot.

Gabon were punished for missed opportunities as just before the goal, Aaron Boupendza had clear chances to break the deadlock.

The Al Shabab forward had a header come off the woodwork in the 57th minute when he connected well to a cross from the right. In the 63rd minute, he was picked out by a brilliant pass from Anthony Oyono, but he could not get the ball on target.

He slid the ball beyond the keeper, but it could not hit the target.

After the goal, Gabon tried to pile the pressure for an equalizer, but Sudan defended with grit to earn a precious win and three points on their count.

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