Senegal's coach Cisse worried from Cote d'Ivoire's comeback in AFCON 2023

Mahmoud Elassal , Sunday 28 Jan 2024

Senegal's national team coach, Aliou Cisse, has voiced his apprehensions ahead of the clash against Côte d'Ivoire in the round of 16 of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) on Monday.

Senegal s head coach Aliou Cisse
Senegal s head coach Aliou Cisse gives a press conference at Stade Charles Konan Banny in Yamoussoukro on January 28, 2024, on the eve of the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) football match between Senegal and Ivory Coast. AFP


"Côte d'Ivoire remains a prominent team in Africa with talented players. The setbacks in their last two matches were merely accidents, and I expect them to deliver an improved performance in front of their home crowd," Cisse stated during the pre-game press conference on Sunday.

While Senegal secured their place in the round of 16 with a perfect record of nine points, the host nation suffered two defeats and managed just one victory, earning them a mere three points to reach this stage.

"The fact that we qualified with nine points and our opponents with three points is inconsequential," added the Senegal coach. "A new competition begins now."

The Lions of Teranga embarked on their quest to defend their AFCON title by securing victories against Gambia (3-0), Cameroon (3-1), and Guinea (2-0).

"Our team is currently enjoying a positive period after three matches, where we achieved favorable results in the group stage, and I am content with our performance," Cissé remarked.

"We are in a good position to maintain our focus. The statistics speak for themselves, and I cannot alter the past results. We are living in the present and will remain concentrated. Our next opponent is a formidable Côte d'Ivoire team," he added.

The winner of this tie will face the winner between Cape Verde and Mauritania also scheduled for Monday.

"We anticipate a highly challenging encounter. If we emerge victorious, our journey will continue, but defeat would mean heading back home," concluded the former PSG star.

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