Aliou Cisse, coach of Senegal
Sunday Jun 23, 2019. 09:15
Senegal national team coach Aliou Cisse says he is not worried by the absence of Sadio Mane for his side’s opening 2019 Africa Cup of Nations match.
The Teranga Lions will take on Tanzania in Cairo this evening, but they will be without the services of their talisman Mane.
The Liverpool star is unavailable for the Group C opener after picking up an accumulation of yellow cards in qualifying. He will only be eligible from their second match against Algeria on June 27.
“We would have preferred to have him playing. He is our best player, but we have players to make up for his absence,” said Cisse, who also downplayed his team’s status as one of the pre-tournament favourites.
“We are challengers. The favourites are the teams that have won this tournament in the past. Senegal have never won the Africa Cup of Nations. Egypt have won it seven times!” he said.
“But we know our strength. We are real challengers. To get to the semi-finals would be expected from this team.”
The Senegal v Tanzania match kicks off at 19:00 CAT at the 30 June Stadium in Cairo.