The Stade Bouake prepares for a crucial Group D clash at the Africa Cup of Nations as Gambia and Cameroon face off on Tuesday January 23, 2024.
Already at the brink of elimination from the 2023 AFCON, the Scorpions will seek to play spoiler against the Indomitable Lions, who still have a chance to advance.
Gambia’s AFCON 2023 hopes appear bleak after a second consecutive defeat, a 1#0 loss to the National Elephants of Guinea in their second Group F encounter.
The Scorpions were unable to find an equaliser after going behind to Aguibou Camara’s 69th-minute strike, despite managing seven attempts on goal without hitting the target.
Tom Saintfiet’s men, who also lost their opening game 3#0 against Senegal, remain without a point or a goal in the tournament.
Their final group game against Cameroon offers a slim chance to salvage some pride and register their first points and goal, however, history offers little encouragement.
The Gambia have lost all three of their previous encounters with the Indomitable Lions, including their last meeting during the knockout stage of the 2022 AFCON tournament.
Cameroon got their AFCON campaign underway with a 1#1 draw against Guinea, but a 3#1 defeat to Senegal on matchday two leaves their round of 16 qualification now hanging precariously in the balance.
Ismaila Sarr’s deflected strike and Habib Diallo’s clinical finish put the Indomitable Lions two goals down with just 20 minutes remaining. Jean-Charles Castelletto’s late header in the 83rd minute sparked a flicker of hope, but Sadio Mane’s stoppage-time goal dashed any lingering dreams of a comeback.
Rigobert Song’s men find themselves with a solitary point from two games, facing a must-win situation against Gambia if they are to reach the knockout stage.
However, a win does not guarantee automatic qualification for Cameroon, who will have to rely on Senegal to beat Guinea for the possibility of that. Although this could increase their chances of making it into the knockout stage as one of the best third-placed teams if they fail to finish second.
Gambia will have Ebou Adams back in the starting lineup after the midfielder missed their last match for the red card he received against Senegal.
Saintfiet could consider a switch-up in attack with his side yet to find the net in this tournament. This could see Ali Sowe back in attack alongside Alieu Fadera and Musa Barrow.
Cameroon are hoping Vincent Aboubakar will be back for the final group game to produce the needed spark in attack after he sustained an injury in training a few days before their opening match.
After missing the first match, Andre Onana was between the sticks last time out, and the Manchester United shot-stopper should retain his spot on Tuesday.
Gambia possible starting XI
Gaye; Janko, Gomez, Colley, Touray; Manneh, Marr, Darboe; Fadera, Barrow; Sowe
Cameroon possible starting XI
Onana; Yongwa, Wooh, Moukoudi, Castelletto; Anguissa, Kemen, Ntcham; Nkoudou, Ekambi, Magri
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