Mauritania coach Didier Gomes Da Rosa revealed his final 28-players squad for the upcoming TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, that will kick off in Cameroon on 9 January 2022.
Executives like defender Abdoul Bâ and striker Adama Ba led the list, that was highlighted by building for the future in the form of 16-years old Beyatt Lekweiry, and 19-years-old Mohamed El Mokhtar.
Mauritania appears in the continental flagship tournament for the second time in a row, aiming at a better result than their maiden appearance in Egypt 2019 that resulted in a 1-4 defeat against Mali, and two goalless draws with Tunisia and Angola.
Their objective will be going beyond the group stage. For this, Da Rosa relied on the experience of Abdoul Ba (Al Ahly Tripoli, Libya) and Adama Ba (RS Berkane, Morocco), with new arrivals like Souleymane Doukara (Giresunspor, Turkey) and Pape Ibnou Ba (Havre, France).
With these last two forwards, Da Rosa, who took over from his compatriot Corentin Martins last November, found the offensive profiles that his team lacked while struggling to score goals.
Thinking of the future, the French tactician has decided to include teenagers Beyatt (16) and El Mokhtar (19), who evolved from the U-20 squad.
Beyatt presented as a local young talent, plays in the local championship with AS Douanes. Presented as one of the stars of the Mauritanian U-20 selection, he unfortunately missed the TotalEnergies U-20 AFCON 2021 that his country hosted last February / March, due to injury.
Unlike Beyatt, El Mokhtar played in this competition even though he could not help his country qualify for the second round in this first major tournament hosted by Mauritania. The young goalkeeper is seen as the future between the posts as Mauritania is hoping to find a rare gem.
While the two youngsters hope to have some playing minute in Cameroons, they are there specially to learn from their Mourabitounes experience and their group opponents.
Mauritania are in Group F alongside neighbors Gambia and Mali, and top seeded Tunisia.
Goalkeepers: Babacar Diop (FC Nouadhibou), M’Backé N’Diaye (Nouakchott Kings), Mohamed El Mokhtar (AS Douanes)
Defenders: Abdoul Ba (Al-Ahly Tripoli, Libya), Diadé Diarra (Grand Ouest Association Lyonnaise FC, France), El Hassen Houeibib (Al-Zawraa SC, Iraq), Harouna Abou Demba (Unattached), Souleymane Karamoko (AS Nancy, France), Aly Abeid (Valenciennes FC, France), Houssen Abderrahmane (Royal Francs Borains, Belgium), Abdoulkader Thiam (US Boulogne, France)
Midfielders: Mohamed Dellah Yaly (Unattached), Guessouma Fofana (CFR Cluj, Romania), Ibréhima Coulibaly (Le Mans FC, France), Yacoub Sidi (AS Vita Club, RD Congo), Khassa Camara (NorthEast United FC, India), Almike Moussa N’Diaye (Grand Ouest Association Lyonnaise FC, France), Mohsen Bodda (FC Nouadhibou), Mahmoud Abdallahi (NK Istra 1961, Croatia), Mohamed Soueid (FC Nouadhibou), Beyatt Lekweiry (AS Douanes)
Forwards: Aboubakar Kamara (Aris Salonika FC, Greece), Hemeya Tanjy (FC Nouadhibou), Oumar Camara (Beroe Stara Zagora, Bulgaria), Adama Ba (RS Berkane, Morocco), Souleymane Doukara (Giresunspor, Turkey), Idrissa Thiam (ASAC Concorde), Pape Ibnou Ba (AC Le Havre, France)