Guinea's Kante backs Gal to bounce back after glaring Morocco error
Guinea's Abdoulaye Kante believes that Aboucaba 'Gal' Camara will bounce back after his horror error against Morocco as the Syli Nationale were eliminated from the African Nations Championship.
After losing both of their opening matches, Guinea became the first team to be eliminated from the ongoing CHAN, despite holding their own for long spells of their second group game against favourites and hosts Morocco.
However, despite cancelling out Ayoub El Kaabi's opener through Saidouba Camara, Guinea fell behind again in the 65th minute when Gal inexplicably passed the ball to the RS Berkane hotshot, who made no mistake when one on one with Kante.
The 24-year-old added a third three minutes later to take the clash beyond the West Africans and dump them out of the competition.
"Seeing as he's an experienced player, we didn't expect that to happen to him, he's always been there for us," Kante told KweséESPN ahead of Sunday's dead rubber against Mauritania. "It's just a reminder that this is football and anything can happen.
"It could happen to me and even the coach can make mistakes," he continued. "We just have to lift our heads up, to close your eyes doesn't achieve anything.
"It's not the end of his career, he's experienced so much, and he still has a lot ahead of him. I'll support him, and I'm sure he'll get back on track and do great things."
Despite being eliminated after two matches, Guinea's players can leave the CHAN with their heads held high after matching Morocco for large stages of their second fixture.
They'd also been unfortunate not to draw with an experienced Sudan selection in their opener, with substitute Mohamed Thiam missing a late chance to nab an equaliser when faced with an open goal.
"I'm proud of the group, at least up to the point that we let our heads go down [against Morocco]," Kante continued. "To concede a goal doesn't mean you've lost.
"We were in the match, we were playing well, but then we conceded a goal, and a second, a third, and there you go, we were deflated, even though we had the quality to get back into the match."
Guinea are favourites to end their campaign on a high note in their final Group A clash against Mauritania in Marrakech on Sunday, before attention turns back to their 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifying campaign.
Kante has vowed that the Syli Nationale, fourth-placed finishers at the last CHAN in 2016, will not let another competition pass them by.
"I'm sorry for the Guinean people who had so much faith in us," he concluded. "Now we'll go home, rectify our mistakes, and next time we'll turn up for the tournament."
Ed Dove is the Soccer Editor for KweséESPN. Follow him on Twitter @EddyDove.