COCAN 20-21


AFCON 2021: Comoros heroic despite elimination

Cameroun VS Comores, CAN 2021. Photo credit:
For their first participation in a final phase of an African Cup of Nations soccer tournament, the Coelacanths eliminated in the round of 16 against Cameroon on January 24th, 2022 have not been ridiculous in this competition.

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Before this 33rd edition of the African Cup of Nations (CAN) organized by Cameroon, the Comorian national soccer team had never participated in a final phase of this competition. Participating in this competition was already a victory for the team, but the manner in which it participated is more.

In their baptism of fire, the Coelacanths played four matches, winning one to advance to the round of 16 and losing three. In their first match, Amir Abdou’s team lost 1-0 to Gabon. Against Morocco in their second outing, they lost 0-2 and beat Ghana against all odds 3-2. Qualified for the round of 16 among the best third places following the defeat of Algeria against Ivory Coast, the team will be baptized at this stage by the host country, Cameroon.

Between injury to their number one goalkeeper Salim Ben Boina against Ghana in the third outing of the team and the cases of covid-19 in their team, the selection of the Comoros Islands must face Cameroon with a defender in goal as keeper. Despite this, the team led for the circumstance by Younes Zerdouk (assistant coach) managed to create many problems for Cameroon although with 10 against 11 after the expulsion of their captain Nadjim Abdou in the 7th minute of play. In the end, the Coelacanths lost 1-2. Coming out of the competition with their heads held high, they won the admiration and sympathy of many.

The team finished the competition with three “Man of the Match” awards in the tournament. Youssouf M’Changama against Cameroon, Salim Ben Boina against Morocco, and Ahmed Mogni against Ghana. The Comoros leave this competition with honors.

“I am more than happy because soccer has values, mentalities and I had told my players that the trick is to show people what it is to play together. Today, that’s what they did despite the circumstances”, Younes Zerdouk.

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