AFCON AFCON 2023: Senegal in good state to focus against Ivory Coast – Cisse

Senegal head coach Aliou Cisse has exuded confidence that his charges will get the better of Ivory Coast when the two giants face off in the Round of 16 fixture of the Africa Cup of Nations at the Charles Konan Bani Stadium, Yamoussoukro on Monday.

The Teranga Lions qualified from their group unbeaten and will be hoping to continue with the same energy in the knockout stage while the Elephants will strive to make up for their poor showing in the group stage, which they progressed with only three points as one of the best third-placed teams.

“Our team is going through a good period after three matches, where we achieved good results in the group stage, and I am satisfied with it. We are in a good state to focus,” said Cisse, adding: “The statistics are there and I cannot change the past and the results. We are in the present, and we will remain focused. We are now in the eighth final, against a good Ivory Coast team.

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“We will play a very difficult match. If we win, we will continue the adventure, and if we lose, we will return home. We qualified with nine points and the opponent with three points, this does not matter. Now a new competition has begun. Ivory Coast remains a major team in Africa, they have good players. The defeat in their last two matches remains just an accident, they will show another performance in front of their fans.”

Senegal defender Moussa Nyakhate said: “We worked well this week. We must remain focused on the way we play in defense and attack. We will remain focused on ourselves in the match, and our goal remains to win. The Ivory Coast national team is good, and they have players with good potential, and we respect them a lot.

“The atmosphere is great within the Senegalese team. Everyone is in good condition. We have a wonderful group of veterans who are mentoring the young players.”

The Elephants will want to compensate their home fans for the poor showing in their last two games against Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea by eliminating Senegal and qualifying for the quarter-finals.


Dennis Mabuka

Dennis Mabuka is a seasoned Kenyan journalist with 18 years of experience covering sports events. He is currently a sport content creator with en.Africatopsports.com.

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