Saturday, March 5 in Egypt – Malik Daf, the head coach of Senegal’s U20 football team participating in the 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) says his country’s aim going into Monday’s semi-final against Tunisia is to win the tournament.
Senegal edged West African rivals Benin 1-0 to reach their fourth semis in the competition while Tunisia needed shoot-out to shrug off gritty Congo Republic with whom it finished 3-3 after 120.
Having achieved World Cup qualification like the other three semi-finalist Daf revealed during Tuesday pre-match conference that the Junior Teranga Lions buckle better the challenge the young Carthage Eagles at the Suez Canal Authority stadium in Ismaila and go on to win it.
“We want to win and our aim is to improve the team and if we want to realise our objective we must win tomorrow,” says Daf.
“The players are ready to perform and we’re motivated for the match tomorrow.
“We are not finished yet because we’re playing against Tunisia for a place in the final.”
Senegal is yet to concede kn the tournament and enter the last lapse knowing a similar record can take them to the same heights achieved by their home-based team during the African Nations Championship last month in Algeria and the AFCON last year in Cameroon.
“Our first objective was to qualify for the World Cup and the second is to win the trophy,” the former U17 coach and Senegal international reiterated before showering praises on their next opponent.
“Tunisia are a good team and we played against them twice. We’re very focused.
“I’m very motivated to win but we will respect our opponents as any other team.We will work towards our objective of winning a trophy.”
If Senegal beat Tunisia and go on to win in the final against neighbors The Gambia (other team yet to concede) or four-time winners Nigeria, the West Africans will be the first nation to win a quadruple of the AFCON, Beach Soccer AFCON, CHAN and U20 AFCON within 14 months.
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