Robert Nouzaret’s Guinea take on Namibia in Sekondi in a match where they will start as favourites despite the absence of midfield playmaker and inspirational skipper Pascal Feinduono.
Feinduono starred in the Syli Nationale’s 3-2 win over Morocco, scoring two himself, but got himself sent off for kicking out at Amin El Arbate. That has resulted in him being slapped with a two match ban, which will see him ruled out of this game and a possible quarterfinal if Guinea qualify. Replacing Feinduono will be difficult for Robert Nouzaret, but in hindsight, the absence of their most influential player might spur Guinea on to silence their critics. If Guinea win, and Ghana draw with Morocco, then Guinea and Ghana go through. If Guinea lose and Morocco draw or win, then Morocco go through. If Guinea and Morocco both win, then it comes down to head to head goal difference in order to pick two out of Ghana, Guinea and Morocco. Fode Mansare had a huge impact on the last game, and Bangoura and he are the ones that Guinea will look up to convert any goal scoring opportunities.
The Brave Warriors, are for all practical purposes, out of the tournament. They have equalled their performance in their only other appearance at this tournament- which was in 1998. A win against Guinea will see them go one step ahead of the 1998 squad. To qualify, Namibia need to beat Guinea by a huge margin, and hope that Ghana end up with an all win record by beating Morocco. The huge margin requirement was caused by Namibia’s opening 1-5 defeat at the hands of Morocco. However they improved tremendously and ran Ghana ragged before losing 0-1. The Namibian defence, which was in shambles against Morocco, put up a resolute show against the hosts. Brian Brendell, who has scored their only goal of the tournament, and his teammates, will have to put away any chance that comes their way- even half chances. The match has been hit by allegations of the Namibian players being offered money to throw this game.
Even without Feinduono, one would have to fancy Guinea. The fate of the match also hinges on the Morocco- Ghana game. Guinea to win this by a goal or two, with Bangoura on the scoresheet. If Namibia find the net, Brendell to do it.