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Preview: Comoros vs. Gabon

Group C’s second matchup on Monday wraps up a full slate of matches at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon as competition debutants Comoros bump heads with Gabon’s Les Panthères. The Coelacanths are eager to show the world what they are capable of following their historic qualification campaign, but they know that they have plenty to prove before being taken seriously. Gabon have dominated headlines for incidents off the pitch with star players Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mario Lemina testing positive for Covid-19 after being seen partying, a disappointing development that is crushing to Gabonese hopes in Cameroon.

The story of Comoros is becoming more and more known, but it bears repeating that manager Amir Abdou has pulled off a masterpiece by qualifying Les Coelacanthes for the AFCON. Success for Comoros is the result of a long-term project that Abdou was at the center of to get players based abroad to commit to the national team, an undertaking that certainly had its highs and lows according to CNN’s profile of the team linked below. Despite the notable absences for Gabon, Abdou and his side are not getting fooled into thinking they are the favorites and will have an excellent opportunity to prove their mettle.

Gabonese supporters are at their lowest point and the country’s media is covering all of bad omens coming out of the team’s camp. Gabon Review’s Roxanne Bouenguidi takes the footballing authorities of Gabon to task following news that the players refused to train for a second time due to unpaid bonuses, stating that the organization of the team’s preparations “exude a sense of unpreparedness or even dilettantism”. Despite the circumstances, there is plenty of talent on the team capable of earning the Panthers points with Red Star Belgrade midfielder Guélor Kanga, attacker Denis Bouanga and striker Aaron Boupendza available.

Check out preview articles below as well as CNN’s deeper look at the Comoros team that is making history for the island nation.

Comoros v Gabon – First adventure for the Islanders (CAF Online)

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