Thiaw: Preparation was key to undoing DR Congo

Thiaw: Preparation was key to undoing DR Congo
Pape Thiaw, coach of Senegal during post match press conference after the 2022 CAF African Nations Championship match between Senegal and DR Congo at 19 May 1956 Stadium in Annaba, Algeria on 22 January 2023 © Djaffar Lakjal/BackpagePix

by Helder Ribiero

Tuesday Jan 24, 2023. 13:00

Senegal coach Pape Thiaw has revealed that their 3-0 win over DR Congo at the 2022 African Nations Championships (CHAN) on Saturday was down to extensive pre-match preparations.

The Lions of Teranga, who are making their first appearance at the tournament since 2011, eliminated the two-time CHAN winners to secure top spot in Group B ahead of Ivory Coast.

All four teams were still in with a shout of qualifying for the knockout stages after Uganda beat Thiaw’s side 1-0 on matchday 2 and the 41-year-old tactician was determined to get the better of the Leopards at the weekend.

Ousmane Diouf opened the scoring on 23 minutes and Pape Diallo doubled the West Africans’ lead in the 74th minute before a Siadi Baggio own-goal three minutes later sealed their passage to the quarter-finals.

Thiaw reiterated their desire to “make a statement” in Algeria and stressed how important it was for his team to reach the first target.

“We really needed to play the quarter-final. We finished first from a group of death. Like I said from the beginning, we came here to make a statement. Youth prevailed over experience today,” He said in the post-match press conference.

“We were faster than DR Congo tonight. That really helped us. When they went down to 10 [men] we did our best to make the most of the numerical advantage.

“We took four days to study Congo and identify their weaknesses to undo them. We are satisfied that everything went well. As the game went on we became favorites. We were more patient maybe because we needed a draw and they needed a win.

“The objective of today was to qualify because the group wasn’t easy. We are in the quarter-final. The semis is our aim. Being top of our group keeps us in Annaba which has been our lucky charm.”

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