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Led by acclaimed coach Abdou, Mauritania plans to break losing spell at CHAN

With defeats from all of their six matches through two participations at the 2014 and 2018 editions of the African Nations Championship (CHAN), Mauritania and coach Amir Abdou will attempt to make a loud statement at the 2022 edition in Algeria. Abdou, the Franco-Comorian manager of the senior national team as well as the domestic-based side, made his name as a manager by leading Comoros to the knockout stages of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations but has an intimate knowledge of domestic football in Mauritania from his time at top club FC Nouadhibou. The odds are against the Mauribitounes Locaux in Group D but Mali and Angola will have to watch out for a Mauritania side that continues to earn respect and results in African football.

Abdou has a mix of young and experienced talent in his squad with two well known forwards giving Mauritania plenty of firepower. 24-year-old FC Nouadhibou player Hemeja Tanjy has already accumulated 30 appearances and 4 goals for the senior national team and became the first player to reach 100 goals in the Mauritania Premier League just last month, many of which were scored while playing for Abdou. It is rare in the CHAN that a nation’s all-time leading scorer can be involved but that is the case for Mauritania with Cheikh El Khalil Moulaye Ahmed, best known by his moniker Bessam, who will captain the squad with 12 goals in 60 appearances along with experience from his well traveled club career that includes two seasons in Algeria’s Ligue 1 Professionnelle.

Mauritania are showing signs of their capabilities with a draw against hosts Algeria 0-0 in a December friendly before delivering a surprise 3-0 victory over Ivory Coast on Monday with goals from Bessam and Tanjy. There is plenty of experience in the defense as well with experienced goalkeepers Namori Diaw and M’Backé N’Diaye battling for the starting position and 25-year-old deep-lying midfielder Mohamed Dellahi Yali already making over 60 appearances for the senior side. Based on the team’s pre-tournament friendly results and Abdou’s success as a manager the potential is there for Mauritania to surprise in Algeria.

The list of players in the squad is below followed by links to more information on the Mauribitounes. Mauritania start their CHAN campaign on January 20 against Angola with only the group winner advancing from Group D.

Mauritania looking for best ever performance at CHAN (CAF Online)

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