Guinea have nothing to lose

Guinea go into their second match of the 2015 African Cup of Nations against Cameroon with nothing to lose on.

If there is one thing that this tournament has proved so far is that there are no favorites. On paper Cameroon have an advantage over Guinea as they have never lost a game to them.

However, Guinea captain Traore said the very fact that they are not favourites is what motivates them to do well.

"We have no fear. We knew from the beginning that we are a team nobody would count as favourites.

"We are not scared of any opponent and have nothing to lose. So we can simply play our game. That is what we want to do in our next match against Cameroon," he told FIFA's official website.

Against Ivory Coast, Mohammed Yattara opened the scoring for the Guineans in the first half. A speedy forward, Traore then hit the crossbar and the Elephants were reduced to 10 men after Gervinho received a red card for slapping an opponent. However, the veteran Elephants side rallied at the end and found a 72nd minute equaliser through substitute Seydou Doumbia.

“[Experience] was the difference between the two sides. We played a good game against a strong team but lacked the experience to win the match. Teams like Côte d'Ivoire will win games if they play well because they have the experience to do so. And we don't. We have euphoria, but experience is more important. We have a very young side – I think one of the youngest in the tournament. But you could see when Côte d'Ivoire where a goal and a man down they remained calm and played well at the end,” Traore explained.

Both teams are coming into this match after playing to draws in their opening matches in this tournament. Cameroon played to a 1-1 draw with Mali as Guinea and Ivory Coast also drew 1-1.

Guinea qualified second behind Ghana in their group, but given what they were up against off the pitch that constitutes a minor miracle.

The last time Michel Dussuyer's side played at home was in July 2013, when the side secured a 1-0 victory against Mali in an international friendly. Since then, the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus has put a temporary halt on all home matches and the African confederation decided in August last year, that the Syli Nationale would have to play their qualifying matches for the 2015 AFCON tournament at a neutral venue.

This, of course, made qualifying from a difficult group that comprised African heavyweights Ghana, as well as Togo and Uganda, much more difficult. The Guinean football federation chose Casablanca as their temporary home and the team did remarkably well in Morocco, securing victories against Uganda and Togo and playing to a 1-1 draw against Ghana.

The captain says the challenge forged the team into a more powerful force. “We went to many countries where the people did not want us. The spectators in the stadiums were chanting 'Ebola, Ebola.' But that also made us stronger and more determined. We managed to qualify, although nobody believed in us. But now that we are here, so nobody is saying those things anymore.”

Guinea are here and a positive result against Cameroon will help them stay.

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