Home » AFCON 2023: Sebastien Desabre accepts underdogs tag against Guinea

AFCON 2023: Sebastien Desabre accepts underdogs tag against Guinea

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As the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continues its preparation ahead of their quarter-final clash with Guinea, the coach of the team Sebastien Desabre says his side are not the favourite.

The Central African side drew all three group games to qualify for the knockout stage.

The team also beat record winners, Egypt on penalties in the Round of 16 to book a place date with Guinea in the quarter-final.

With this, Congo is yet to record a win after 90 or 120 minutes at the tournament.

“We have a high performance objective to implement the game plan. Guinea is a good team and our aim is to move forward,” Desabre told journalists during pre-match press conference.

“Our first objective is to qualify for this round. The second one is to beat one of the top five teams. This is not a long-term Championship. We are in the knockout stage. We need to score more goals and remain calm with room for improvement.

“This is an AFCON of surprises. Top notched teams are the top sides. We have played Angola twice in friendly matches and are happy to see them at this stage. I do not consider my team as favourite against Guinea. They have players in high-ranking teams. We will dwell on our strengths and address our weaknesses. Guinea has a good squad. We have room for progression.”

With a tough contest against Guinea, Desabre demands improvement from his players.

“Of course, this is a great time and turning point for us in this tournament and the kind of opponents that we have. Even Morocco has left the competition. Penalty shootouts also required work to achieve to convert our chances and luck.” He continued.

“No, we did it before. We wanted to perform high at this AFCON. We are ranked 14th and want to move higher. We have to prove our ambitions because we are just two steps away from the final. We are not going to change everything overnight. We are still on our way to improving deliveries as we have not gotten to the level I wanted the team to reach.

“The competition is a competition and not a game to win. We wanted to win games, created chances to score but unfortunately couldn’t. We want to play offensive football tomorrow and win. I am very proud of my players as they deserve to win against Egypt.

“Of course we didn’t make a lot of changes defensive. In the Central axis we made some changes. Tactically I decided to move to have balance at the defensive level. We also have to prepare for free kick taking. We have the basis but the reality is that we conceded minimum goals. We had some balance that represent our strengths.

“We have reached this quarter final having in mind the benefits of two days of recovery from Korhogo. We now have four days of recovery and hopeful ahead of the game. We have no excuse and are recovered enough for the game which is good for us.

“Game systems are quite different. There are conscent animation in the system. We attack using three strikers and in certain compartment of the game, we have the possibility to see some things. We don’t need to focus on a particular angle for a game. Even if we put two strikers in, e don’t know what will happen. I don’t know and can’t read the future. We could have brought in strikers and concede goal. The most important thing is the win.

“This is part of humility instead. Today, statistics and numbers are to be questioned. We didn’t win Egypt in our previous meetings before now. Right now, there are things going on in the Guinean team. I know their players and team. We must commend the work and progress made by the team under Kaba Diawara.

“Anyway we know that when you have a competition like AFCON, there are no easy match at all. This is a high level and I don’t know of any easy game. I will be more concerned if we didn’t create opportunities. I don’t thing Guinea scored more goals in their games but we scored more. We all want to score but matches are played based on small details.” He concluded.

Guinea have won two of their four games at the tournament with a draw and a loss as Kaba Diawara’s side attempt to make it to the semi final.



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