Despite having their work cut out at the 34th edition of the AFCON, the Djurtus are not giving up hopes of rewriting the record books in Abidjan
Guinea-Bissau star forward Zinho Gano has revealed that the Djurtus’ primary target is to beat Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire to the knockout round ticket in Group A of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, Soccernet.ng reports.
The Djurtus are making their fourth appearance at the AFCON and are yet to win a match or make it past the group stage at the continental championships.
It could be even more difficult for the Wild Dogs to achieve that feat this time as they have been grouped with Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, and Equatorial Guinea.
Apart from winning the AFCON twice, the Ivorians are also the hosts of AFCON 2023 and will be keen to impress in front of millions of fans.
Nigeria, making their 20th appearance at the AFCON, are one of the most successful nations at the tournament with three titles.
Equatorial Guinea are no minnows, having reached the semifinals in 2015 and the quarterfinals at the last AFCON.
Still, Guinea-Bissau forward Gano believes the Djurtus have the right to dream of doing the impossible in Cote d’Ivoire.
Gano, the top scorer for Guinea-Bissau during the qualifiers with four goals, is hopeful that the Wild Dogs can surpass the first stage of the competition.
“Of course! We didn’t even win a match,” Gano told Cafonline.
“So our first goal is to win a match and then, to manage to get past the first stage. I know its a difficult group with Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria, but we will see. In football, anything is possible.
“We know that these are very big countries, but this is an opportunity for us to show that we are there too. We have a good group and we are also here for the fourth time, it shows that we are worth something, too.
The Zulte Waregem star added: “Everyone must believe that anything is possible. Even for this opening match. With opening matches, there are always surprises and why not, with us.
“We can win like everyone else, even if it’s Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria or Senegal. The match is 11 against 11 and anything is possible.”
Guinea-Bissau will face Cote d’Ivoire in the opening match of the AFCON and will trade tackles with Nigeria on matchday three.