- Senegal have never made it into the CHAN semi
- They won the AFCON and Beach Soccer AFCON last year
- They face surprise package Madagascar in the semis
Having won the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) for the first time ever last year, Senegal are looking to add another feather to their cap with victory at the Africa Nations Championship (CHAN). The Teranga Lions also won the beach AFCON last year and another continental title would be an amazing feat.
Senegal coach Pape Thiaw believes his team has what it takes to go all the way, though he admits they face a tough side in Madagascar.
“Senegalese football works continuously and continuously. There is qualification for all competitions in all age groups and formats. We are doing beautiful things. We have to support our national teams that are making tremendous efforts in the field and our work is beginning to show the fruits. I am enjoying it so far, and our country needs more than that,” said the coach.
On his opponents of the day Madagascar the coach said; “The matches are not the same. We have done well, and we try to play during the match in our own way. We know that Madagascar has special players, and they have skills. We are focusing on the match. We have our means and our weapons, and we will show that during the match. I hope our weapons are effective and good.”
Never qualified for the CHAN final
Senegal have never qualified for the CHAN final and will be looking to do so for the first time ever.
Meanwhile, Madagascar will be seeking to stun one of the tournament favourites.
The Barea have had their best ever performance at a Continental competition and coach Romuald Rakotondrabe will be keen to see his side create more history and stun the Senegalese who are highly fancied.
The tactician has also clearly stated that their opponents are favourites for the duel, but they will stop at nothing to battle for a win.
“This is tournament life. We are not going to find excuses. I say it, we are ready to face the Senegalese here in Algiers,” Rakotondrabe said.
Excited like children
“We discussed it with the boys. We resorted to meditation sessions. With all the excitement, they are like children. We had to find more peace which is essential to our concentration for the next stage.
“Senegal is a strong and aggressive team. We do not have the same attributes. As a football fan, it is a treat for me to watch them play. We have observed and analysed them for a long time. Even though they are favourites for the semi-finals, we will put in place a strategy to thwart their plans.”
Madagascar Starman Tantely Randrianiaaina meanwhile believes it will not be easy against the Senegalese.
“We respect the Senegal team a lot. Senegalese teams are the pride of our beautiful continent internationally. Now against them, we’ll go all out. It is true, I have to tell you, I didn’t think we would go this far but my boys have proven their worth on the pitch. Today, everyone is talking about us. It can be tricky. It is up to us to stay focused,”
Madagascar qualified for the semis after thrashing Mozambique 3-1.