Panthers of Gabon are confident of a positive campaign at the upcoming 2021 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations despite their humiliation against Burkina Faso in an international friendly on Sunday.
Goals from Issa Kabore, Gustavo Sangare and Dango Ouattara condemned captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and his Gabonese side to a 3-0 defeat in the fixture staged at the Seven Stadium in Dubai.
The result comes as a huge morale booster for coach Kamou Malo’s Burkina Faso, with a week into their group A opener against hosts Cameroon.
For the losing side, Patrice Neveu however remained optimistic about his side’s chances going into the 24-nation tournament.
“It was a preparation game and we saw the shortcomings of our team. We have to be mentally strong. I am going to make choices very quickly to put the team back on track,” the French tactician revealed.
“The objective was to make a review of the quality in the squad and see the state of our players,” he concluded.
The Panthers will face AFCON-bound Mauritania on Tuesday in a second friendly for both nations camping in the United Arab Emirates ahead of their TotalEnergies AFCON campaigns.
The Gabonese, who are pitted in Group C are scheduled to arrive in Yaounde-Cameroon on January 5 and will set the ball rolling against debutants Comoros on January 10 at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium.
They later face Ghana and Morocco in the next two group games on January 14 and 18 respectively.