Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

‘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

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Agency
External source

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Mkhize tenders resignation as Ramaphosa calls top six meeting, fueling...

Mkhize’s resignation and the top six meeting are the clearest indicators yet that Ramaphosa is intending to make a much-anticipated cabinet reshuffle

Life Esidimeni inquest postponed until August 30

The lawyer for the bereaved families argued that Dr Makgabo Manamela’s requests for postponements have a negative impact on the families of the deceased who seek closure

More top stories

Mkhize tenders resignation as Ramaphosa calls top six meeting, fueling...

Mkhize’s resignation and the top six meeting are the clearest indicators yet that Ramaphosa is intending to make a much-anticipated cabinet reshuffle

SIU to investigate tenders between water and sanitation department and...

The president has signed a proclamation for the Special Investigating Unit to investigate R474-million in tenders

South Africa’s audit independence tops World Bank rankings

Only two countries received a perfect score in ​​latest report on national audit institutions

In South Africa, only 5% of chief executives are women

Only 5% of chief executives are women and the gender pay gap is most pronounced in the top JSE-listed companies, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers...
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×