July 5, 2022

AFCON 2021: ‘All we deserve is the trophy’ – Senegal’s Cisse

By Brian Aheebwa
Senegalese players pose a Kodak moment in their dressing after making it back to back AFCON finals | Courtesy Image

Senegal made it back to back Africa Cup of Nations finals when they defeated Burkina Faso 3-1 at Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium on Wednesday.

And, according to head coach Aliou Cisse, all that the Lions of Teranga deserve is to finally win the AFCON trophy given their efforts.

“We are really satisfied this evening and we dedicate this win to our people,” Cisse said after the game before adding.

“Our objective is to win the trophy because that is what the boys deserve given everything they have put into this,” he added.

Abdou Diallo, Bamba Dieng and Sadio Mane scored for the 2019 losing finalists while Blati Toure netted Burkina Faso’s only goal.

The continent’s highest ranked footballing nation as per FIFA rankings will be hoping to go a step better this time around and finally get a hand on the winner’s medal.

Cisse’ charges lost the 2019 final in Egypt 1-0 to Algeria while they had also lost the 2002 final 3-2 on penalty shootouts after a goalless draw with Cameroon in Mali.

It is worth noting that Cisse who is the current head coach, was the team’s captain when they lost the final to Cameroon in 2002. He and El Hadji Diouf missed their penalties.

Today, they’ve got plenty of talent all over the world more so in Liverpool star Mane who has scored three goals and also managed a couple of assists so far. Therefore, they’ve more reason to believe in him.

“We knew it was not going to be at all easy to get to two straight AFCON finals, but the most important thing for us now is to go all the way and win it, whoever we come up against,” Mane noted.

Senegal await the winner between hosts and five time winners Cameroon and record holders Egypt who have a semifinal bout on Thursday, for the final game of the tournament on Sunday.

Should the Lions of Teranga lose at Olembe Stadium, they’ll become the first nation to win no AFCON title after reaching three finals.

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