x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Senegal out to spoil Libya's party

Senegal have pledged to do their best to wreck Libya's hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the African Cup of Nations despite already having been doomed to end the tournament in the group stage.

Senegal have pledged to do their best to wreck Libya's hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the African Cup of Nationsdespite already having been doomed to end the continental tournament in the group stage.

Senegal were the first major casualty to crash out of the tournament after they lost their first two matches, to Zambia and the co-hosts Equatorial Guinea.

Libya, on the other hand, kept alive their hopes after they drew 2-2 with Zambia following a 1-0 loss to Equatorial Guinea in the opening match of the competition.

The North Africans could now make it into the quarter-finals, along with Equatorial Guinea, if they win well tonight against Senegal and the co-hosts do them a favour and also beat second-placed Zambia, who are on four points from two matches.

But Senegal, the pre-tournament favourites to win the group, are determined to end their tournament on a high after a campaign that has been described as a national disgrace back home.

"We will prepare very seriously for the match against Libya and play with honour till the end," said Mamadou Niang, the captain and one of several of Senegal's strikers who have failed to find the back of the net so far.

"We have been unlucky and also we are a young team with most of the players here for the very first time.

"This disappointment can only make us grow and make progress."

Libya are aware their fate is not in their own hands completely, but Marcos Paqueta, the Brazilian coach, said all he wanted his players to do is focus on what they can control.

"We still have a chance to qualify, but it partly depends on the outcome of the other game," he said.

"Senegal are a good team, but we want to fight and win and stay in this tournament."

In last night's action....

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* Agencies

 

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