Guinea-Bissau look to build on solid start

Guinea-Bissau look to build on solid start
Carlos Mendes of Guinea-Bissau in action. EPA/LEGNAN KOULA

by Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Jun 05, 2024. 13:00

Guinea-Bissau will look to build on their solid start to the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers when they host Group A rivals Ethiopia at Estadio 24 de Setembro in Bissau on the early evening of Thursday 6 June 2024.

Kick-off is at 18:00 CAT.

Guinea-Bissau secured four points from their first two matches in November last year, drawing 1-1 ‘away’ to Burkina Faso in Marrakesh, before a 1-0 ‘away’ win over Djibouti in Cairo.

The Djurtus are placed third on the log – two points off leaders Egypt and trailing second-placed Burkina Faso on goal difference – but will back themselves to win this home match and capitalise on at least one of the top two dropping points when they play each other later on the same day.

Guinea-Bissau are entering a new era, with former Arsenal, Fulham and Portugal player Luis Boa Morte taking charge of his first matches as their new head coach. He has spent most of his coaching career as Marco Silva’s assistant at Everton and then Fulham, but will be looking to make a big impact early in his tenure.

Ethiopia, meanwhile, claimed just one point from their opening two matches in Group A in November, drawing 0-0 with Sierra Leone before suffering a 3-0 loss at the hands of Burkina Faso – both were ‘home’ matches held in El Jadida in Morocco.

The Walia Ibex are placed second from bottom on the standings and coach Gebremedhin Haile – who has been appointed to this position alongside his role at Ethiopian Insurance FC, a controversy that has angered many stakeholders in the country – is under pressure to produce a quick recovery.

In head-to-head stats, this will be the first official meeting of the teams.

Guinea-Bissau will go on to host heavyweights Egypt at the same venue in Bissau on June 10, while Ethiopia will be away to Djibouti in Morocco the day prior.

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