Senegal’s Malik Daf says it was necessary for his country to reach the semi-finals of the 2023 U20 Africa Cup of Nations as he hailed the importance of the achievement.
Senegal beat Benin 1-0 at the Cairo International stadium to qualify for the last four after Samba Diallo finished a Lamine Camara assist to set up a clash with seven-time winners Nigeria.
Malik admits finally reaching the semi-finals is a significant moment for his team but he wants more now.
“We achieved the first and main goal of the tournament which was to qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup. Now we have another goal which is to win the tournament.
“We faced a strong team who tried to put us under with the speed of their players but we changed our plan to overcome them,” Malik who helped his country qualify for the 2019 U17 FIFA World Cup in Brazil explained.
Overcoming Nigeria in the semi-final won’t be easy but Malik remains excited about the prospects of being in such a high-profile West African derby.
“The next match is always the most important match. It doesn’t matter who we will face in the semi-finals. Both teams are very strong and they have our full respect and appreciation.”
Monday’s semi-final will be one of the top games of the tournament as Africa’s newest super power Senegal confront the tournament’s most successful team.
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