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Africa Cup of Nations

Comoros to field outfield player in goal for Afcon last-16 tie vs Cameroon due to Covid-19 and injury

16:12 SAST 2022/01/23
Salim Ben Boina Comoros Africa Cup of Nations 2021
The Afcon debutants will have to put an outfielder in goal as all three of their recognised shot-stoppers are unavailable

Comoros will field an outfield player in goal for their Africa Cup of Nations last-16 tie versus Cameroon after seeing their conventional shot-stopping options wiped out amid a Covid-19 and injury crisis.

The island nation sprung a huge surprise by qualifying for the last 16 in their maiden appearance at the competition, and will now face the Indomitable Lions.

But their squad has been decimated, and they will now have to play an outfielder between the posts.

What has been said?

“We try to deal with it the best we can," Comoros general manager El Hadad Himidi explained.

“Without the coach, some major players and the two remaining goalkeepers, the situation is quite difficult.”

Speaking ahead of the Cameroon tie on Monday, Comoros assistant coach Jean-Daniel Padovani confirmed that an outfielder has been chosen to play in goal as the underdogs attempt to reach the quarter-finals.

"We've already chosen an outfield player who will start as keeper...It's a player who in training has shown that he can play as a keeper," Padovanni told reporters.

Could Comoros have played without a goalkeeper?

Currently two of the country's three keepers, Moyadh Ousseini and Ali Ahamada, have tested positive for Covid-19 and will miss Monday's match, while first-choice Salim Ben Boina is out injured.

In total, 12 of their squad have been ruled out through Covid, as has coach Amir Abdou.

Comoros will still be obliged to take the field if they have 11 players available, regardless of their position.

The bigger picture

Comoros sprung one of the biggest surprises so far in this year's Afcon by dumping out continental giants Ghana.

The Black Stars went down 3-2 in a thrilling clash to bow out of the tournament in the group stage, while their opponents clinched a place in the last 16 as one of the third-placed teams with the best record.

Now another stiff challenge looms in the shape of Cameroon, who won their group unbeaten, with the winner facing either Guinea or Gambia in the last eight.

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