‘Hardest to come’ for Senegal in quest for first African title

Coach Aliou Cissé acknowledged Saturday the “hardest is yet to come” for a Senegal side trying to win the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time.

The Teranga Lions are the highest-ranked African nation, at 22nd in the world, and Cissé is bidding to lead his country a step further than the team he captained in an agonising penalty shootout defeat to Cameroon at the 2002 final.

“We’re close to the goal, in the sense of us being in the semi-finals. Having got to this stage here we have hope. But we know the hardest is yet to come,” said Cissé, who missed the decisive spot-kick in that loss to Cameroon.

“We hope this year will be the right one. We’re two steps away, which is both a long way and not that far at the same time.”

Senegal are making a first semi-final appearance since 2006, while Sunday’s opponents Tunisia have not advanced this far since winning the competition on home soil 15 years ago.


“I’m aware of what getting to the semi-finals represents,” said Tunisia boss Alain Giresse. “There was an obsessive aspect. It’s a relief but not an end in itself.”

Cissé, 43, replaced Giresse as Senegal coach in 2015 but the former France star insisted his firsthand knowledge of the opposition would have little bearing on the result.

“If the match came down to knowledge of the players that would be a good thing, but the reality is different,” said Giresse.

“Knowledge and relationships are one thing but what happens on the pitch is the most important.”

“It’s pretty special to be on the other side, but it’s a personal thing that only concerns me. It won’t factor into the preparation of the Tunisian players,” he added.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Agency
External source

Related stories

Controversy dogs Drogba’s top-job attempts

Does Didier Drogba deserve to lead Cote D’Ivoire’s football association?

African governments and the Covid-19 fallout

The “Covid-19 Kairos” has provided governments with the opportunity to leverage the pandemic to create comprehensive sustainable economic development policies for all Africans

Businesses should use alternative energy sources, industry bodies advise

Business associations are urging companies to continue seeking alternative energy sources in light of Eskom’s court judgement which would allow the utility to bump up electricity prices up to 15% from next year April 2021.

On bioclimatic architecture: ‘We have our own science, but we have forgotten how to transmit it’

This conversation between Mpho Matsipa and Mamadou Jean-Charles Tall, focusing on bio-climatic architecture in Senegal, is part of the larger African Mobilities project

Africa’s ill-resourced healthcare systems need immediate revamping

Now is the time to rewrite a collective script of Africa’s development agenda and the well being of its people

SOS: Covid-19 leaves stranded Africans distressed and abandoned

Many African governments have paid little more than lip service to their citizens stranded all over the world
Advertising

Subscribers only

Free State branches gun for Ace

Parts of the provincial ANC will target their former premier, Magashule, and the Free State PEC in a rolling mass action campaign

SAA bailout raises more questions

As the government continues to grapple with the troubles facing the airline, it would do well to keep on eye on the impending Denel implosion

More top stories

Hawks swoop down with more arrests in R1.4-billion corruption blitz

The spate of arrests for corruption continues apace in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape.

Catholic NGO boss accused of racism and abuse in Sudan

The aid worker allegedly called his security guard a ‘slave’

Agrizzi too ill to be treated at Bara?

The alleged crook’s “health emergency” — if that is what it is — shows up the flaws, either in our health system or in our leadership as a whole

SANDF hid R200m expenditure on ‘Covid’ drug it can’t use

Military health officials are puzzled by the defence department importing a drug that has not been approved for treating coronavirus symptoms from Cuba
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday