This was one result i was not expecting, however one i totally agree with. Right from the start of the tournament and even through out the Qualifying period, the Lions of Teranga had established themselves as one of the very few sides who were strong favourites to lift the AFCON trophy on Feb 12th.
However, losing both their games, the first against Zambia 2-1 and then to co -hosts Equatorial Guinea by a similar scoreline yesterday, Senegal are now out.
Despite having one of the best forward lines in the entire tournament, Senegal failed to make use of the myriad of chances that fell on them and were punished when David Kily struck a beautiful long range shot with only seconds remaining on the clock.
Senegal coach Amara Traore is to blame for their early exist. He was unsure of his selection and it showed during the game. He Chose to start with both Newcastle strikers Demba Ba and Demba Cisse a combination that has not worked for them in the past.
It was only after Niang and Moussa Sow entered that Senegal really looked dangerous. In fact the game was headed for a draw after Sow grabbed a shock equaliser in the 89th minute.
However, the 5 minutes added time was enough to hand Equatorial Guinea a lifeline that see them make it to the quarter finals in their very first AFCON tournament.
Speaking after the match, Traore maintained that victory against Libya in their final fixture on Sunday would be the perfect way for them to exist the tournament.
“We prepared very well for this game and we had many opportunities. We were just unlucky tonight. I am very happy for my players, they gave everything,”
“I am very disappointed with our current state because we deserve to win something at this tournament. It is frustrating for some of the players who are playing at the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time. We hope to win our last match and bow out with our heads high,” Traore said.
Senegal captain Mamadou Niang also commented saying that bad luck was to blame for their loss.
“We had the better chances but were unlucky. I feel sad for the team. We are a young team, where about 70 percent are making their debut.
“We all failed together and won’t single out any player for blame. It is from such disappointments that you can make up your mistakes.”
So the Lions of Teranga become the first major casualty to exist the Cup of Nations and if the results from the first round of fixtures are anything to go by, i highly doubt whether this will be the only shock of the tournament.
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