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Forget SeneGambia, it will be Senegal win, says Malick Daf



Senegal coach Malick Daf

Senegal coach Malick Daf has been quoted by the CAF website as saying that winning is the only motivation that his young Teranga Cubs gets ahead of their clash against Gambia in the final of the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations this Saturday.

The Teranga Cubs have made a strong impression in the tournament winning all their matches without conceding a goal.

They will face the Young Scorpions who they know very well from their zonal qualifying tournament in Mauritania.

“Tomorrow we will play our final against The Gambia, a friendly country, the same country,” Daf said at the pre-match press conference on Friday.

“We are expecting a great game tomorrow. Our goal is to win this game. Despite the greatness and talent of the Gambian team. We will try to beat them.

“We have already practiced on the pitch, we know each other well. We prepared to come and play and win.”


Senegal edged the Young Scorpions in the final of the WAFU-A qualifying tournament last year with captain Samba Diallo scoring the only goal.

“We always want to win, we are prepared to come and win. We have no pressure. We want to continue on this momentum, our motivation is to win,” he said.

The former U-17 coach talked about the good management of emotions and the way to attack and defend without being surprised.

“We will manage the emotions, the players are aware and concentrated. Football has phases, transitions and defensive balance,” he added.

“Since the start of the tournament we manage to do it with intelligence and modesty. Our way of playing is to be on the lookout for opportunities,” Daf said.


The Senegal coach was accompanied by his star midfielder Lamine Camara who scored twice in the semi-final win over Tunisia.

The new FC Metz recruit was one of the star performers at the 2022 TotalEnergies African Nations Championship in Algeria which Senegal won.

“Tomorrow is the final we will play against our neighbours. We know the Gambia is a very good team, the match will be difficult for both teams,” Camara said.

“We played the WAFU-A final in Mauritania. We will try to beat them.

“Our motivation is there to win, all the Senegalese teams have won and we have positive pressure.


“We will approach the match like the other matches,” Lamine Camara concluded.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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