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AFCON 2021: Nigeria lock horns with Tunisia as Burkina Faso take on Gabon in round of 16

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The Round of 16 of the ongoing TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon 2021 kicks off on Sunday, with Burkina Faso and Gabon locking horns in Limbe.

Both finished their groups in second place, and a win on Sunday means a place amongst the Big Eight of African football.

Few days before this TotalEnergies AFCON kickoff, Burkina Faso defeated Gabon 3-0 in a Dubai-based friendly.

This might serve as a morale boaster for The Stallions, who aim at repeating their 2013 feat when they went all the way through to the final.

After an opening game 2-1 defeat to hosts Cameroon, Burkina Faso defeated Cape Verde 1-0 before being held to a 1-1 draw with Ethiopia.

Four points were enough to see them finish second in Group A, but the Burkinabe will be looking for more sharpness if they are to continue their run.

With his young and talented squad, coach Kamou Malo can count on the likes of Bertrand Traoré, Abdoul Fessal Tapsoba and his experienced defender Issoufou Dayo.

For Gabon, a 1-0 win over debutants Comoros was followed by a late 1-1 draw with Ghana, and a 2-2 tie with Morocco where Gabon took the lead twice.

Crashing out of the group stage at home in 2017 and failing to qualify to Egypt edition two years later was quickly forgotten.

Patrice Neveu can count on stars like Denis Bouanga, Jim Allevinah and his new captain Ecuele Manga, as The Panthers are looking for more to come.

Elsewhere, It will be a clash of two titans when Super Eagles of Nigeria lock horns with the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia in Garoua.

Both former champions contest for who will soar higher as they eye a place in the quarterfinals of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon 2021.

They last met in the third place match in Egypt 2019, with Nigeria prevailing 1-0 on the day.

The Super Eagles were the only side to get the maximum points in the group stage. This will give Augustine Eguavoen men maximum confidence before the knockouts.

Nigeria started the campaign with a 1-0 win over record champions Egypt, followed by a 3-1 victory over Sudan, and concluded the group with a 2-0 win against Guinea Bissau.

Despite being favorites to win their group, Carthage Eagles suffered to find a place in the round of 16 which they only reached as one of the best four third placed teams.

A 4-0 win over Mauritania ensured their pass, but it came between two 1-0 defeats to Mali and Gambia respectively. And the group was highlighted by the Tunisians missing three penalties, one in each game and via three different players.

Struck by many absences, it would be a tough mission for the 2004 champions, but they will give their all to set a new start to their campaign.

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