Ambitious Comorians. On the eve of their second African Cup of Nations match against Morocco (this Friday, 5 p.m.), Amir Abdou, the coach of the Comoros, gave an interview to 20 Minutes. After a first defeat against Gabon (1-0), its players no longer have the right to make mistakes to snatch a qualification for the round of 16. Because it is the objective of the Coelacanths for their first participation in the CAN.
How is your start of CAN?
We are a little disappointed with the result, we expected better against Gabon. I think the team delivered a good performance but we came home timid in this first meeting. There was a little bit of this emotional side that was very difficult to manage and we paid cash for it by quickly taking this goal. After we woke up, we started playing, and we even had possession of the ball. We deserved better. I am also a little disappointed at the level of the refereeing, there is a flagrant hand fault of the opposing goalkeeper who takes the ball outside the area. And the Var was not working when we could also have obtained a penalty early in the second half. But morale is good and we are preparing for Friday’s game with determination.
Isn’t it normal to be a little timid for your first participation, do you feel the pressure?
Of course, this is normal. But we don’t feel any pressure. It’s difficult to enter a competition, especially when you discover it. We want to do well, and that goes through the management of emotions. I had warned my players, at the last rally in September, that it had to be ignored. But it is difficult to escape it and we paid cash with this goal that we quickly took.
What is your goal for your first participation in this CAN?
We are competitors so the objective is to qualify for the round of 16 even though we know it will be difficult. We thirst for victory. The matches are played on neutral ground, the opponents also want to qualify and Morocco, Friday, will want to follow up with a second victory to take cover. To get a result, you always have to believe in it. We have already taken into account all the parameters of our opponents, who have great potential, in this quality group. But we also know our possibilities to thwart them, it will therefore be necessary to be very efficient.
What did you miss in this first match against Gabon?
We had possession of the ball but we faltered in the last 20 meters. It’s just the finish that we lacked, we were not efficient in this area and we will have to erase all that. We have moved again, the players are in tune, the counters are reset for the match against Morocco.
Is it a dream for you and your players to participate in this CAN?
We are very happy to play this CAN, but it is not a dream. We are there, and we did not steal our qualification. We all went to get her together. Regardless of our opponents, the only thing that matters is the result.
– Brut FR (@brutofficiel) January 11, 2022
Tell us how you managed to build this selection and obtain this qualification in CAN?
The work was to build a collective, to structure this team by trying to have the best players in all positions. We managed to lay the foundations, with consistent work that allowed us to go and titillate the other teams.
Is it complicated to convince players to join the selection of Comoros?
There is no real need to convince them given the results we have, and to play competitions like this. All players want to participate. If we had to convince them, it was through the project that we presented to them and its orientations. They were all able to believe in helping them to perform.
How do you judge the organization of this CAN, while in France many have unfairly mocked the refereeing errors or the absence of the Mauritania anthem?
We are in total immersion, between the hotel and the stadium, and we have not encountered any organizational problems. For arbitration errors, there are everywhere, in Africa, but also in South America, in Europe. It fell on Tunisia, but we too experienced refereeing errors. It’s part of the game and you have to put it aside. What is important is to be able to score more goals than our opponents.