Senegal star Sadio Mane believes their experience will help them in their quest to win the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations title on Sunday.
Aliou Cisse’s men advanced into the final of the biennial showpiece for the second time in a row after beating Burkina Faso 3-1 in Wednesday’s semi-final fixture.
Mane’s contribution of a goal and an assist got the job done at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium after a goalless first 45 minutes.
In 2019, Senegal suffered a 1-0 loss in Cairo as they narrowly lost the continental crown to Algeria but Mane, who was part of that team too, said they are charged to end the country’s long wait for their first Afcon glory.
"Experience is a good asset," Mane said, as per Reuters. "I think that has always been the case since the start of this tournament. We suffered so much with a lot of Covid cases and several injuries too.
"We had a very difficult time but with our experience we kept calm until we recovered the whole group.
"We played a final last time, so we have experience and we will try to win this trophy.”
Senegal were also finalists at the 2002 edition in Mali when they lost to Cameroon via a penalty shoot-out after a goalless draw.
Two decades later, Mane – who has a tally of three goals and two assists in six games played so far – noted that every player in the team has contributed to the Teranga Lions’ progress in Cameroon.
“There are a lot of leaders in this team because we have a lot of great players and a lot of mature players,” he added.
“Everyone is making a contribution so that the team can move forward.”
Senegal are getting ready to face the winner of the clash between Egypt and Cameroon in the final showdown billed for the Olembe Stadium on Sunday.