Coach Baciro Candé of Guinea-Bissau has set an ambitious goal for his team as they arrived in Cote d’Ivoire on Sunday to compete in the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations.
The Djurtus, participating in their fourth AFCON, are determined to go beyond the group stage and make a mark in the tournament.
Guinea-Bissau, drawn into Group A alongside Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria and host nation Cote d’Ivoire, faces a challenging task in their quest for advancement.
Coach Candé expressed confidence in his team’s capabilities despite the formidable opponents they will encounter.
Upon their arrival at Félix Houphouët-Boigny Airport in Abidjan, the Djurtus received a warm welcome from dozens of Ivorians, complete with drumming and dancing, showcasing the excitement and anticipation surrounding the tournament.
As the second team to arrive in Cote d’Ivoire for the competition, Guinea-Bissau is gearing up for their opening match against the host nation on Saturday at the Alassane Ouattara Olympic Stadium in Ebimpe.
Coach Candé, who led the team to qualify for the 2017 edition, is no stranger to the competition, having led Guinea-Bissau in three previous AFCON appearances.
In a statement following their arrival, Coach Candé reflected on their previous experience, saying, “I’m used to that, in the first competition I took part in, we drew the first game against Gabon (1-1).”
Despite acknowledging Cote d’Ivoire’s strength, Candé reassured that Guinea-Bissau would approach the game methodically.
The Djurtus’ group stage fixtures include a match against Equatorial Guinea on January 18, 2024, followed by a crucial encounter against Nigeria at the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan on January 22.
While the group presents formidable challenges, Coach Candé remains optimistic, stating, “We want to advance past the first round at last.
” Although our group has formidable opponents in the form of Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, and Côte d’Ivoire, anything is possible in football.”
Guinea-Bissau’s Djurtus will look to create history by advancing to the knockout stage for the first time in their AFCON history.