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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2021: Senegal managed Cape Verde from start and it made the difference – Aliou Cisse

4:26 PM IST 26/01/22
Senegal coach Aliou Cissé during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Afcon.
The Lions of Teranga roared into the last eight of the tournament after cruising past the Blue Sharks in the Round of 16

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse believes his team took control of the game against Cape Verde from the start and it helped them to win their Africa Cup of Nations Round of 16 fixture on Tuesday.

The Lions of Teranga scored their goals through Sadio Mane and Bamba Dieng to seal a 2-0 victory and a quarter-final berth against the Blue Sharks, who lost two players to red cards at Stade Omnisports de Bafoussam.

Coach Cisse has praised his players for starting the game on a positive note, insisting it helped them to wrap up the game since they exhausted their opponents.

“We started the match on a good note as we started with intensity and a renewed sense of urgency,” Cisse told the media as quoted by CafOnline.

“I told my players to play with speed and press our opponents and that paid off handsomely as we exhausted our opponents.

“Today [Tuesday] it was very important to manage the game from the start and that is how Senegal made the difference. I am proud of my players as they followed the instructions from start to end.

“In the quarter-finals, we want to employ the same tempo and hard work to be able to get another convincing win.”

Dieng, who was voted man of the match, said: “We are delighted as a team to have qualified for the quarterfinals and on a personal note I am happy to have earned the man of the match away in what was a good and well-coordinated game with my teammates.

“We will continue to improve with every game as we hope to go all the way in the competition.”

Meanwhile, Cape Verde coach Pedro Brito blamed the team’s defeat on the two red cards flashed out to Patrick Andrade and goalkeeper Josimar Dias.

"First, I would like to congratulate Senegal for the victory, but I also want to congratulate my players for what they did in the game,” Brito said.

"The match started with Senegal attacking but we tried to balance things and succeed but things turned midway when we got the red cards that affected our game plan.

“It became difficult after the second red card we totally lost control. We hope to make amends and learn from the tournament as we prepare ourselves for our next schedule.”