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2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Senegal's Koulibaly ready to avenge 2019 Algeria defeat at Cairo Stadium

09:46 IST 25/03/2022
Kalidou Koulibaly Senegal 2018
The Napoli defender will be leading the Lions of Teranga against the Pharaohs hoping for a positive outcome

Senegal captain Kalidou Koulibaly has revealed they will be aiming at avenging the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations defeat by Algeria at the Cairo International Stadium when they play Egypt on Friday.

The Lions of Teranga will be at the venue they played at three years ago, but this time around it will be against the Pharaohs and in the first leg of the 2022 World Cup play-offs.

The Napoli centre-back has explained how it felt missing the final three years ago, owing to suspension, and making a return to the stadium.

"[2019 Afcon final] was a very difficult match. I watched it from the stands, and when I entered the stadium, I remembered that match," Koulibaly said in a presser as quoted by Kingfut.

"Everyone knows that and gives us more of a push, which encourages us to take our revenge and win on the field despite everything. We will give our best to overcome this pressure.

"We are ready for the match, especially since we have met Egypt since the final of the Africa Cup of Nations, which makes the match more difficult. We are now more prepared since a lot of time has passed."

Koulibaly will be playing against the in-form Liverpool attacker Mohamed Salah. It will not be the first time they have played against each other and the Teranga Lion has stated their main focus will be on all Egypt players and not the 29-year-old.

"I played a lot against Salah since he was in Rome. For me, Salah and [Sadio] Mane are the main strengths for both teams," the Senegal captain continued.

"We will not focus on Salah only, but we will focus on all the players. We will make sure not to concede any goals and try to take advantage of opportunities to score."

After meeting on Friday, the two nations will again face each other in the second leg on Tuesday in Dakar with the aggregate winner making it to the World Cup.

Africa will be represented by five teams in Qatar.