By Afeseh Apong
▪️ Padovani says an outfield player can likely start at goal against Cameroon
▪️ Insist they’re working to find best possible solutions
The goalkeeper’s coach of the Coelacanth of Comoros Jean Daniel Padovani, has hinted that there is a possibility of an outfield player starting at goal against Cameroon on Monday.
The Coelacanths made it to the round of 16 in their maiden AFCON participation, but their squad was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, less than 48 hours to their crucial game against the indomitable lions of Cameroon.
Seven players and four technical staff members were tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday, amongst which is coach Amir Abdou. Daniel Padovani and Captain Nadjim Abdou attended their pre_match presser on Sunday, and throw more light on a series of questions from the press.
“It is rather a unique situation. When we heard about these positive cases including our only two goalkeepers, with one goalkeeper already injured, we were really surprised, but we have been able to get back to work in order to get the best possible solutions,” Padovani said.
“There are football rules which have been existing since the start of the competition and as coaches our role is to get the best possible solutions, so right now we may not be able to answer some of your questions directly.
“We have met the sporting director, together with the coach and his deputy. We have discussed and decided to talk to all the players who are healthy and to explain the situation to them. Now to get a goalkeeper, so one of the outfield players will likely be the goalkeeper. That’s what happens. We have to make do with the men we have at our disposal.
Asked to confirm if a decision has been made already on who starts at goal, the former Angers shot stopper refused to give a clear answer.
“We are yet to decide who will be the goalkeeper, even if we have decided, I will not tell you because some of may analyse it your own way. So we’re working and trying to get the best possible solutions.
“I have an important role to play, that of finding a goalkeeper from the out field players. Concerning test and screening, I think I will let qualified persons to talk about that. I just want to focus on my own job as a goalkeeper’s coach. So I will try to analyze the playing style of Cameroon and look for the best players to play.
Asked about their game plan against Cameroon, Padovani said;
“We’re in Cameroon and 12 Covid-19 positive cases have been detected amongst us, so we’re not going to reveal our tactics for the game against Cameroon for you. We’re going to play with the same values as we have done since the start of this tournament. During our training session yesterday, the players were in high spirits and every body was upbeat. We want to get into the field of play with optimism.
A 3#2 win over the black stars of Ghana in their last group C game, made it possible for Comoros to reach this stage of the competition. An historic moment for the Island nation.
“It is historic that Comoros even qualified for the AFCON, won a match at AFCON, and historic that Comoros qualified for the eighth final. And for a football team to play with an outfield player as a goalkeeper, is also historic, Daniel Padovani added.
On his part, Captain Nadjim Abdou spoke about making Sacrifices for the best interest of the Nation. Monday’s game against Cameroon, is yet another moment for him and his teammates, to sweat the jersey, for the Nation.
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