Senegal v Tunisia: Humble Lions to remain grounded, insists Cisse

By Sports Desk July 13, 2019

Senegal will not underestimate Tunisia as they bid to reach the Africa Cup of Nations final for the second time in their history.

The Lions beat Benin 1-0 courtesy of Idrissa Gueye's 69th-minute strike to reach the last four, keeping a clean sheet for the fourth time at this year's competition.

Only Algeria have managed to breach Senegal's steely defence so far, but on Sunday they go up against a Tunisia side who eased to a 3-0 quarter-final victory over Madagascar.

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse expects another tough challenge, telling a news conference: "Tunisia are a good team who do good things. We won't underestimate anyone and we won't lack concentration.

"There are still two matches to go. We came here with ambition, we hoped to reach the quarter-final, but we'll keep our feet on the ground.

"We haven't reached this stage since 2006. It's been 13 years and Senegal haven't been here, so this already represents a progression.

"We'll have more humility. I believe these are great professionals. I've always been confident in the work we're doing."

Tunisia put in an impressive second-half display against Madagascar, scoring twice in eight minutes before Naim Sliti added a third in second-half stoppage time.

"We are the first to beat Madagascar," Tunisia boss Alain Giresse said. "This proves the quality of this team in this competition.

"We are very satisfied we are in the semi-finals. Now we are at this stage of the competition, which Tunisia had been waiting for for many years. It was an objective.

"We have to play this semi-final with all our weapons and obviously try to go as far as possible. We know what to do about it. We know what to expect.

"We want to finish this competition in style."

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Senegal - Alfred Gomis

SPAL goalkeeper Gomis has conceded just once at this year's tournament but his toughest test awaits against Tunisia.

Tunisia - Youssef Msakni

Msakni was instrumental in turning the quarter-final against Madagascar in his team’s favour, providing the assist for Ferjani Sassi's opener before netting the second himself.


KEY OPTA FACTS

- It will be the sixth encounter between Senegal and Tunisia in the Africa Cup of Nations, but the first in semi-finals.
- Senegal have won their last three games in the Africa Cup of Nations, their longest streak in the competition.
- Tunisia will play their sixth Africa Cup of Nations semi-final. The Carthage Eagles have qualified for the final twice previously, against Zambia in 1996 and against Nigeria in 2004.
- Senegal have kept a clean sheet in seven of their last nine games in the Africa Cup of Nations (3 goals conceded overall), after failing to do so in each of their previous 14.
- Tunisia's striker Wahbi Khazri has been involved in 29 shots in the 2019 edition (16 shots attempted, 13 chances created), more than any other player.

Related items

  • Was it just for the referee to red card Taison following racist abuse? Was it just for the referee to red card Taison following racist abuse?
  • Klopp unworried about delivering first Club World Cup title for Liverpool Klopp unworried about delivering first Club World Cup title for Liverpool

    Jurgen Klopp is unfazed about potentially leading Liverpool to a first FIFA Club World Cup title, but the manager is excited about the opportunity.

    The European champions will be favourites for the tournament in Doha in December.

    Liverpool have never won the FIFA Club World Cup, finishing as runners-up in 2005, but leading the Premier League giants to a first success at the tournament is not a focus for Klopp.

    "Oh, I didn't think about that. I'm not someone who has to be the first on the moon or the first winning the World Cup with Liverpool, but when we are there then we will try with all we have," he told FIFA.com.

    "The very interesting and difficult part as well is that we'll be playing against teams from other continents, which doesn't happen that often – maybe a Mexican team, maybe a Brazilian team – and it will be a tough one for sure.

    "We'll prepare for it as we would usually, and we will see if it's right or wrong against the team from another continent.

    "We don't have too much information yet, but we will by then for sure, and it will be interesting and difficult as well."

    Liverpool will play Monterrey, Al-Sadd or Hienghene Sport in the semi-finals on December 18.

    Klopp said there was no additional pressure on Liverpool, urging his team to make the most of the chance ahead of them.

    "We will see. So far, I don't feel any pressure. I see it as an absolute opportunity as you don't often have the chance to play for it," he said.

    "You have to win the Champions League as the European team, so that already makes it special.

    "We knew it'd feel great when we won the Champions League, but then we had no real clue how it'd be around the European Super Cup. So, we played it and it felt really great and really big.

    "When we go there, we will be prepared and looking forward to it. The boys want to play it, so it will be very interesting, and it will feel big for us, 100 per cent."

  • Messi the star of this generation and greatest ever – Gundogan Messi the star of this generation and greatest ever – Gundogan

    Lionel Messi is the star player of the current generation and the greatest footballer ever, according to Manchester City and Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan.

    The Barcelona great is a five-time Ballon d'Or winner, like Cristiano Ronaldo, and is widely regarded as one of the best players ever.

    While the debate around Messi and Ronaldo is ongoing, Gundogan has no doubt the Argentina forward is the greatest.

    "Lionel Messi [is the best player in the world]," he said.

    "In my opinion, he has very special abilities. He has talent and he always manages to show it on the pitch. He always has the instinct to make the right decision.

    "He uses his speed well against the opponents he plays. He has a strong finish. All in all, no one else has as much quality as Lionel Messi.

    "He is the star player of my generation and the greatest footballer of all-time. I hope we get to watch him play for a few more years."

    Messi has continued to star for Barcelona this season, scoring nine goals in 11 games in all competitions.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.