AFCON 2021: Senegal Riding on Mane To Knockout Cape Verde

Tuesday, January 25
•Senegal Vs Cape Verde – 7pm
•Morocco Vs Malawi – 10pm

Senegal will be hoping that Sadio Mane is at his best when they face Cape Verde in a round of 16 tie at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations match at the Kouekong Stadium, Bafoussam.

Mane has scored Senegal’s only goal at the ongoing AFCON in Cameroon, with his strike coming in their opening 1-0 win against Zimbabwe.

The Lions of Teranga went on to pick goalless draws against Guinea and Malawi to finish top of Group B with four points.

CAF stats suggest that excluding own goals, Mane has been directly involved in 50% of Senegal’s goals in Africa Cup of Nations since the start of the 2017 tournament (7/14), scoring six goals and providing one assist for a teammate.

PGS’s Gana Gueye, Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly will be the other stars to watch out for the Senegal team.

Sadio Mane (10). courtesy photo

Koulibaly stated: “We no longer have small teams in Africa and that is why we will go the Derby against Cape Verde very motivated. We accomplished our first mission of going past the group stage, and now we want to reach the ultimate. We are focusing on teamwork as it is going to be a very different match.”

“We want to make our nation happy by winning convincingly to move to the next stage. We intend to give our best in all circumstances while respecting our opponents.”

Senegal will be fancying their chances against Cape Verde who are playing at an AFCON tournament for a third time.

Senegal have not won the AFCON tournament either, finishing as runners up in 2002 and 2019.

Senegal goalkeeper Edouard Mendy

Cape Verde on the other hand, have only played one game in the knockout stages AFCON, losing 0-2 to Ghana in the 2013 quarter-finals.

Pedro Brito, Coach of Cape Verde, noted: “We have worked hard in our training and facing a team like Senegal is an added motivation, because the match is like a Derby. They have to respect us as a team the same way we respect them. The competition has seen a lot of surprises, and we hope to be the other team that will cause an upset as our mission is to win the game and move to the next round.”

The Blue Sharks finished third, after win over Ethiopia, a loss against Burkina Faso and 1-1 draw with Cameroon in Group A to progress as one of the best loser.

Winner between Senegal and Cape Verde will meet either Morocco or Malawi who face off in the last game on Tuesday.



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