Aliou Cisse: Senegal coach targets Afcon 2019 success for Senegal

By Mohamed Fajah BarrieBBC Sport, Sierra Leone
Senegal coach Aliou Cisse
Senegal coach Aliou Cisse

Senegal coach Aliou Cissé says his target is to win the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon as he unveiled a 23-man squad for their qualifier away to Equatorial Guinea next month.

"The objective as I said, I want to go and win the 2019 Afcon," Cissé said ahead of their penultimate Group A qualifier on 17 November.

"There are a dozen teams that can win this competition. We are aware of our strength, we are respected in Africa, we are respected in the world.

"Today, Senegal are able to beat any team, we are able to compete with any team in and outside the continent," Cisse added.

Senegal sealed their place at Cameroon 2019 with a 1-0 win away to Sudan earlier this month to qualify from Group A along with Madagascar who will play at a Nations Cup finals for the first time in their history.

The Teranga Lions' best showing at a Nations Cup was finishing as runners-up to Cameroon in 2002 in Mali.

Senegal lost on penalties but went on to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup later that year in their first appearance.

Cissé was captain of that Senegal team which was full of stars including El Hadji Diouf, Khalilou Fadiga, Salif Diao and Henri Camara.

"Since the final in 2002, Senegal have struggled with the Afcon, we ran out of luck to win the cup," added Cissé.

"Now it's up to us to prepare ourselves mentally if we want to go far."

Cissé's squad for their match with Equatorial Guinea includes English Premier league stars Sadio Mane and Idrissa Gana Gueye.

Senegal squad:

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

Defenders: Ibrahima Mbaye (Bologna, Italy), Lamine Gassama (Göztepe, Turkey), Salif Sané (Schalke, Germany), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli, Italy), Racine Coly (Nice, France), Youssouf Sabaly (Bordeaux, France), Pope Abou Cisse (Olympiakos, Greece)

Midfielders: Idrissa Gana Gueye (Everton, England), Sheikh Tidiane Ndoye (Angers, France), Cheikhou Kouyate (Crystal Palace, England), Assane Diousse (Saint-Etienne, France), Sidy Sarr (Lorient, France), Amath Ndiaye Diedhiou (Getafe, Spain)

Forwards: Opa Ngette (Metz, France), Sadio Mané (Liverpool, England), Moussa Konate (Amiens, France), Mbaye Niang (Rennes, France), Keita Balde (Inter Milan, Italy), Ismaila Sarr (Rennes, France), Mbaye Diagne (Kasimpasa, Turkey)

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