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AFCON 2021: Points to note as debutants, Comoros Island face Gabon

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Comoros Islands who crossed the path of great teams like Egypt and Togo as well as Kenya to qualify for their maiden appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations will be dreaming of a continuation of their dream feat.

This Monday at the Ahamdou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde, the islanders will have their first baptism as they face Gabon

●         This will be the first encounter between the Comoros and Gabon at the Africa Cup of Nations, with the former one of only two nations to make their AFCON debut this year alongside Gambia.

●         Since the turn of the century, only three of the 11 AFCON debutants have progressed to the knockout stages of the tournament (Equatorial Guinea in 2012, Cape Verde in 2013, Madagascar in 2019).

●         The Comoros scored only four goals in six games during qualifying for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, the joint-lowest tally of the 24 teams present at this year’s tournament alongside Malawi.

●         This is Gabon’s eighth appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations. They have yet to progress further than the quarter-finals and are winless in their last five games (D3 L2), their longest drought in the tournament.

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●         Since his debut in the competition in 2010, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been directly involved in 69% of Gabon’s goals in the Africa Cup of Nations (6 goals + 3 assists, out of a team total of 13 goals).

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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