By Charles Embola
Football writer kick442.com-Cameroon
In a Limbe Omnisport Stadium 60% full, Mali faced off in the last game of the AFCON 2021 16 finals. A star Parked Malian team for the most part of the first segment created but failed to convert clear cut chances to the dismay of their traveling fans. On the mother hand, the 2015 Semi Finalists from the small island next to Cameroon and ranked 114 by FIFA grew in confidence before the break.
As both teams went on a recess, the small nation of Equatorial Guinea revised their notes before resuming the second half. The boys of coach Juan Micha Obiang limited the Malians to frinch chances but also failed to concretize the opportunities that came few and far between.
After earning the MOTM award in their last group game against Sierra Leone, Pablo Ganet was once again specifically involved in his country’s chase to secure a place in the quater finals of the ongoing TotalEnergies African cup of Nations.
This game was however not all sweet for the midfielder who played all 120 minutes and lost his shot on post match penalties. While Equatorial Guinea went on to win that fixture, Pablo’s personal output came under tight scrutiny from football analysts for making very unpopular decisions throughout the game.
kick442.com quizzed him about his side’s performance and this is what he had to say.
“In the first half, they played better with the ball better but we gradually grew in convidence in the game as time went on.”
“We showed a lot of maturity in our approach though we suffered for a while with their onslaughts for the most part of the first half. We decided to go Toe to Toe with Mali because we noticed fatigue had creeped in and that moment was ripe”
On if Mali didn’t show them enough respect in that game:
“Honestly I can’t say for sure if Mali didn’t show us respect but we ensured at the end respect was earned on the pitch. Sometimes comments made by your rival coaches ahead of a game could be more to break you down psychologically but we Equatorial Guinea are a small country with tough mentality.”
Equatorial Guinea Scored 6✅ and Missed 2✖️
Mali Scored 5✅ and Missed 3✖️
For the records, yesterday’s meeting was the first in an AFCON tournament for both nations.
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