Teranga Lions of Senegal coach, Aliou Cisse is still picking positives from his side’s 1-0 victory over Nigeria in their last build-up match to the Africa Cup of Nations, as he believes the run of play on Sunday has put his lads in the right frame of mind to start well in Egypt.
The top-ranked African team are set to tango returning AFCON minnows Tanzania in their opening match of the championship on Sunday, ahead of which Cisse believes his players learnt many lessons from their clash with Nigeria in Ismailia, Egypt.
Incidentally, Tanzania are coached by former Eagles’ winger, Emmanuel Amuneke, such that Cisse is of a view that The Taifa Stars’ handler would have instilled some of his Nigerian mentality into his current team, such that last Sunday’s friendly must have exposed his tactics to an extent.
Cisse is hoping his side can defeat Tanzania in their opening game on Sunday, which comes exactly a week after The Terenga Lions edged out Nigeria, courtesy of Everton attacker, Idrissa Gueye’s lone strike.
The ex-international, who was part of the Mali 2002 silver-winning side that went on to shock France in their opening match of the Korea/Japan 2002 World Cup, admitted further that their win against Nigeria was a relief to Senegal, against a team they played 1-1 with in March 2017.
It was also domination of sort for Senegal against the Eagles, who they beat in the semi-finals of Mali 2002, and Cisse admits he was delighted with the performance by his players, who he says played to instruction.
After their opening game against Amuneke’s Taifa Stars, Senegal will slug it out with Algeria on June 27 before their final group game against Kenya on July 1, and Cisse believes they have a good foundation to tout.
Cisse told Sport221: “The last time Senegal won Nigeria dates back to 2002 with our generation, I think in the CAN semifinal.
“Defeating them is very interesting because Nigeria is one of the giants of Africa.
“I thank the players for respecting what has been put in place. They respected the philosophy and it bodes well for us.
“I am happy with the way they played as I told you earlier but it remains a friendly match.
“It’s a positive victory. But, as you know it was a friendly match. It was a preparation match.
“It’s still a training match. We will have to remobilise, focus on our first game against Tanzania.
“We know we are going to play a tough match against Tanzania. It will have to be approached with a lot of concentration, a lot of discipline.”