AFCON AFCON 2023: Kamano red changed Guinea’s plans vs Cameroon – Diawara

Guinea head coach Kaba Diawara believes his side should have beaten Cameroon in their Africa Cup of Nations opener had they not been reduced to 10 men at the Charles Konan Banny Stadium on Monday.

The Syli National took an early lead through Mohamed Bayo, who was given all the space and time in the world and gleefully pounced on a loose ball inside the penalty box beyond the reach of Fabrice Ondoa and took the lead against the five-times champions Cameroon.

Guinea captain Francois Kamano was shown the marching orders after a clumsy foul on Cameroonian midfielder Olivier Ntcham inside the added-on time in the first half and the Indomitable Lions took advantage of the numerical disadvantage of the Guineans in the second half and got the equalizer six minutes into the second half following Frank Magri’s show of superb aerial ability to pounce onto a free kick to render the game 1-1.

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Asked whether the red card to Kamano deprived his team of victory, Diawara said: “If we take the first part of your question yes, the red card changed our plans. We had prepared our business well, and to play 10 against 11 with the game we are presenting, it’s very complicated,” said Diawara.

“We were missing an attacker at the end, so we pulled back. And when you place your block 10 meters lower, with the qualities of Cameroon, it’s more complicated. And above all, we started to defend with 10 men in the first half. Physically, it was very complicated. That’s why this point is welcome.”

On whether Kamano deserved to be sent off, Diawara said: “I think there was some play involved though, I haven’t seen any images yet. I’m not going to talk too much because we’re not here to talk about it. But in my opinion, the red card is severe.

“After that, at 10 against 11, I want to congratulate the boys because Cameroon pushed. We know the physical dimension of this team. They pushed and we held on, we took this goal but we took a point. So for me, my analysis is accounting. We remain in the race, there are two games remaining.”

Dennis Mabuka

Dennis Mabuka is a seasoned Kenyan journalist with 18 years of experience covering sports events. He is currently a sport content creator with

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