Senegal coach Cissé confident ahead AFCON despite key absentees

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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Senegal head coach Aliou Cissé has named his final 23-man team for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations, dropping France-based Sidy Sarr and Sandy Noum from his initial roster.

The Teranga Lions crushed Murcia, a Division 3 Spanish club, 7-0 in a friendly match on Tuesday and will wrap up preparations in Alicante, Spain with a friendly match against Nigeria on June 16.

However, there have been concerns over the absence of some key players due to injuries. Kara Mbodji, Cheikh Ndoye, Diafra Sakho and Adama Mbengue, who all played at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, will not be present in Egypt, but coach Cissé is confident of his final choice of players.

“They are the best players the country can offer at the moment. We regret the absence of those who are not here, but we believe those on the list can get the job done,” he said in a statement.

As expected, the likes of Sadio Mane, Kalidou Koulibaly, Gana Gueye and Keita Baldé figure on the list, as Senegal head for their 15th appearance at the African Cup of Nations, a record for a team that has never won the trophy.

The Teranga Lions are drawn against Tanzania, Algeria and Kenya in Group C.

THE SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Abdoulaye Diallo (Rennes, France), Alfred Gomis (SPAL, Italy), Edouard Mendy (Reims, France).

Defenders: Salif Sané (Schalke 04, Germany), Kalidou Koulibaly (Naples, Italy), Pape Abou Cissé (Olympiacos, Grece), Lamine Gassama (Goztepe, Turkey), Moussa Wagué (FC Barcelone, Spain), Youssouf Sabaly (Bordeaux, France), Saliou Ciss (Valenciennes, France).

Midfielders: Idrissa Gana Gueye (Everton, England), Alfred Ndiaye (Malaga, Spain), Badou Ndiaye (Galatasaray, Turkey), Krépin Diatta (FC Bruges, Belgium), Cheikhou Kouyaté (Crystal Palace, England), Sada Thioub (Nîmes, France), Henri Saivet (Bursaspor, Turkey).

Forwards: Keita Baldé (Lazio, Italy), Sadio Mané (Liverpool, England), Moussa Konaté (Amiens, France), Ismaïla Sarr (Rennes, France), Mbaye Diagne (Galatasaray, Turkey), Mbaye Niang (Rennes, France).

© SPN Africa

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