African Champions Senegal in Great Danger As They Host Egypt in Playoffs
African champions Senegal must win by at least two goals against Egypt on Tuesday at the Abdoulaye Wade Stadium in Diamniadio to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
After suffering a 1-0 defeat to Egypt in the first-leg of the playoff on Friday, Sadio Mané and his teammates no longer have the choice or score a single goal and go through the series of penalties as they succeeded in the AFCON final against the same opponent at the Olembé Stadium in Yaoundé last month.
All in all, the national coach, Aliou Cissé and the players did not delay on their return from Cairo by training at their new stadium on Saturday afternoon, the Abdoulaye Wade stadium in Diamniadio, located not far from Dakar.
The Senegal coach on his return from Cairo warned those in “suits and ties” to stay at home to make way for real supporters like the Egyptians did to Mohamed Salah and team-mates that helped them to their 1-0 victory on Friday.
n this make-or-break match, the Pharaohs can tell themselves that they forced the Teranga Lions to play two games, including one in 120 minutes of play, without scoring a single goal and this is what they are keen on replicating.
And the reigning African champions are struggling to follow their recent title success with a qualification to the World Cup just like others, said the coach of Senegal.
But, Aliou Cissé forgot to point out that others have also won the title and qualified like Cameroon in 2002, Tunisia in 2004 for the 2006 World Cup, Nigeria champion of Africa 2013 and who also secured their ticket for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The Teranga Lions can still brandish other favourable statistics to boost the confidence of their fans that since taking office as the national coach, Aliou Cissé, has won all home games with a victory of at least two goals.
The only draw (1-1) conceded at home was against Eswatini in the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers when the Lions had already booked their qualification and the Senegalese coach was observing other players on the fringes of the squad.
Even if it was not under the leadership of Aliou Cissé, Egypt can always also remember that their last trip to Senegalese soil ended in a 2-0 loss in the 2015 AFCON qualifiers.
Despite the optimism of the home side, the Pharaohs insist they will be seeking to upset the home side at the new Abdoulaye Wade Stadium in Diamniadio.
“Egypt did not come to seek a draw but a victory in Dakar,” captain of the Egypt national team Mohamed Salah said on arrival in Senegal.
Senegal will be missing Abdou Diallo who suffered an injury in the first leg on Friday while Egypt will be without Mohamed Abdel-Moneim (injured) and El Mahmoud El-Wensh (suspended).