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Teranga Lions, Desert Foxes target AFCON glory

Senegal will battle with Algeria for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title at the Cairo International Stadium in Egypt on Friday at 9:00 pm CAT.

The Lions of Teranga reached the final for the second time in the history of the tournament after defeating Tunisia 1-0 in a semifinal match on Sunday.

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Aliou Cisse, the Lions of Teranga head coach, was part of the Senegal team that lost to Cameroon in the 2002 final as team captain.

The retired defender-cum-midfielder is proud of his latest achievement as a coach and he is looking forward to facing Algerian tactician Djamel Belmadi in the final.

“I feel very proud. We haven’t reached the final since 17 years,” Cisse told the media.

“This is the fruit of long time preparation. Those players worked hard for five full years and now we get the fruit of this hard work

“Djamel is a great tactician, a very good coach. He’s able to get his team to play like he wants them to play.”

Cisse will look to Liverpool FC forward Sadio Mane, who is one of the best attackers in world football at the moment.

The 27-year-old winger, who helped Liverpool win the 2019 Uefa Champions League title last month, has found the back of the net three times in the 2019 AFCON finals.

Meanwhile, Algeria will make their third appearance in the AFCON final after overcoming Nigeria 2-1 in a semifinal on Sunday.

Belmadi, the Desert Foxes head coach, is also a former Algeria international having featured in the 2004 AFCON finals in Tunisia.

Belmadi will bank on the form of Algeria captain Riyad Mahrez, who is one of the best African wingers.

In Head-to-Head stats, Senegal and Algeria have met 19 times.

Algeria have recorded 10 victories compared to Senegal’s four wins, while five games ended in a draw.

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