Gabon rue missed chances against Burundi

2014-01-15 13:26

Gabon coach Stéphane Bounguendza’s face was etched with disappointment as he regretted his side’s missed chances in their African Nations Championships (Chan) Group D opener against Burundi.

On paper, the Black Panthers were expected to stroll to a comfortable win at the Peter Mokaba Stadium last night, but debutants Burundi, making their first senior appearance at major Confederation of African Football finals, were rock solid at the back. Getting a point against opposition they were expected to beat is not an ideal result for the Black Panthers. They will now face off against pre-tournament favourites Democratic Republic of Congo on Saturday.

Bounguendza said the Leopards would be difficult opponents. He promised to work on his goal-shy strikers.

“Our biggest problem was scoring goals and we lacked in that department. We are disappointed with a point. The next two games will be even harder for us. We have put ourselves in a difficult situation with the failure to collect maximum points,” he said.

But he was also quick to point out that there was no such thing as a small team in the competition. He congratulated Burundi for their excellent defending.

“They were fantastic at the back and they did well against an experienced team of our calibre.”

Burundi coach Lofty Naseem Mohamed said it was difficult to put together a team for the finals in the first place, and they are thrilled with a big point against a team they rate highly in the competition.

“We are satisfied with a point; it’s our first time. Gabon are experienced and they played at a number of tournaments before. They had plenty of opportunities to win the match,” Mohamed said.

The Egyptian-born coach added that a draw gave Burundi something to cheer about.

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