Pape Amadou Diallo’s early strike was enough for the Teranga Lions as they edged the Berea of Madagascar 1-0 on Tuesday to reach the final of the tournament in Algeria.
The 41-year-old, who guided his country to a maiden CHAN final, could not hold back his joy when he met the media after the game:
“We are happy because this is what we wanted to achieve in this competition. We did this for the sake of our local football. We wanted to showcase our football,” he added, “we want our country to be proud of us and we want to return to Senegal with the CHAN title.”
The trainer spoke about the course of the match saying: “We missed chances in the game that should have been taken. The most important was to win the semi-final.
“Our team was organized. No two games are the same. Our players were motivated and wanted to qualify against a good Madagascar team. They gave a lot, and I want to congratulate them for what they did.
“What I like about our team is the defensive efficiency. We have not conceded apart from the against Uganda.
“We played against a good team. We knew more about them after analysing their games. Our players are young and we should congratulate them.”
The win lines up an exciting final against hosts Algeria on Saturday at the Nelson Mandela stadium in Algiers.
“We will face Algeria in the final. The game will be played in front of their fans. We will study them and see how to handle it. A final is a final.
“This final was expected by many. We will give everything. We represent our country, know our skills, and we will try to continue our way.”
Senegal settled for a 2-2 draw against Algeria Annaba just over a month ago as part of their preparations for this tournament. They are using that as a blueprint for what awaits them in the final.
“As for Algeria, they have a good team, and we played against them and created difficulties. Winning and not playing,” Thiaw concluded.
Senegal will face Algeria in the final on Saturday 04 February, at the Nelson Mandela stadium in Algiers, from 20:30 (19:30 GMT).
Courtesy of CAF Communication Department