Aliou Cisse proud of Senegal despite AFCON final defeat

Aliou Cisse proud of Senegal despite AFCON final defeat
Aliou Cisse, head coach of Senegal consoles Ismaila Sarr after defeat during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals Final

by Staff Reporter

Monday Jul 22, 2019. 09:15

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse said he was proud of the team’s achievement of finishing as runners-up at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and believes they are closer to becoming a tournament-winning team.

The Teranga Lions were the top-ranked team at Egypt 2019, but suffered a second final defeat in their history after going down 1-0 at the hands of Algeria on Friday night.

“They put away the chance they needed. On the whole, we didn’t let ourselves down. We created chances but weren’t able to score,” said Cisse, whose team also lost 1-0 to Algeria in the group phase.

“When you concede a goal so early in the match the plans become clear. You have to attack against an aggressive defence and we weren’t able to find the solutions.

Senegal were without key centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly through suspension, while Liverpool star Sadio Mane found it difficult to assert himself.

“What are we missing?” asked Cisse. “Being consistent. The last time Senegal reached this point was in 2002. The experience of big matches, we want to be here more often. We’re getting closer to winning.

“The team has been making progress these past five years. A final is decided by fine margins and we deserved better tonight.”

Cisse, captain of the side that lost the 2002 final, has been in charge since early 2015 and refused to be drawn on his future in the job.

“It’s been 17 years since Senegal got to this stage of the competition. We’ve only experienced disillusion and disappointment,” he said.

“I’m not important. What counts is what I’m doing the with players and the fact the federation has confidence in me.”

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