The qualification of Senegal to the 2022 FIFA World Cup was secured because ‘the desire and the determination of the Senegalese players who, despite the difficulty of the match and the tension surrounding it, knew how to keep their serenity and their desire to move forward to seek qualification,” said Aliou Cissé the coach of Senegal.

“We saw warriors, players who wanted to go to the World Cup and that made the difference,” said the Senegal coach at a press conference.

“It was a complicated match, difficult to prepare for, but we have experienced players who, despite the pressure, were able to keep all their serenity despite everything,” said the Senegalese technician.

The Senegal coach made these statements after helping the Teranga Lions defeat Egypt on penalties in the playoffs to qualify for the World Cup to be played in Qatar later this year.

The West Africans won Tuesday’s match after winning the game 1-0 after extra-time before the shoot-out to secure that place at the tournament to be played this year.

This comes after Egypt won the first-leg of the World Cup playoff match 1-0 in Cairo on Friday before the return leg sealed the fate of Pharaohs.

The victory for Senegal came just one month after they defeated the same opponent in the final of the 2021 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon to win the title for the first time.

Cisse highlighted the experience and desire of his players as well as the many matches they have played together as the factors that allowed them to get past a team like that of Egypt.

”I was not worried about managing emotions, we have great players, experienced and despite the importance of this match, they kept the serenity of life and experience,” the former international defender said.

“The players also understood that they had to “start the match well, unlike the Cairo match, even if we hadn’t had a bad match,” he insisted.

“And it was good to make this big start which was the sine qua non condition for entering the match well.

“It’s not easy to win an AFCON and then eliminate this kind of team”, underlined the coach of Senegal who continued that his team is better prepared for future assignments.

“When you win the AFCON, you have to know how to play the matches that follow. We will be even better in Qatar. In 2018, we were eliminated at the group stage, today we have grown,” he said, recalling that Senegal remained the leading country in Africa in the Fifa rankings for five years.

“We won the AFCON and in two difficult matches we took out Egypt, it can be beneficial for us in Qatar,” he said.

Alongside his players, Senegal coach Aliou Cissé took advantage of the solemnity of the press conference to salute the thousands of Senegal fans at the Abdoulaye Wade stadium in Diamniadio which is 40 kilometers from Dakar.

“I would like to dedicate this victory and this qualification to the Senegalese public who played their part. If we could go to each house to thank them, we would do it for sure,” he assured, indicating that “it was the whole country that pushed the players,” said the Senegalese tactician.

After beating Egypt 1-0 after 120 minutes, Senegal needed the penalty shootout to secure their qualification.

Two hours before the start of the Senegal-Egypt match scheduled for 5 p.m. GMT, the Abdoulaye Wade stadium in Diamniadio, about forty kilometers from Dakar, the Senegalese capital, was almost full.

Before the masses entered the stadium, they decongested the Senegalese capital with the inhabitants of Dakar and its suburbs, Pikine, Guédiawaye trooping to the match venue.

A single destination or a single direction: Diamniadio and its stadium inaugurated on February 22 by the Senegalese head of state and a group of personalities including the presidents of CAF and FIFA.

According to local media, supporters keen not to miss the event, arrived at dawn in the clothes of the Senegal national team, along with whistles and scarves.

Egypt therefore played against an additional opponent, the twelfth Teranga Lion that played its part well.

Carlos Queiroz, the coach of Egypt, took the opportunity to congratulate Senegal, recalling that the African champion should not forget that it also plays for Egypt.

“We were treated to a good game, the players on the pitch were great, the public was treated to a great game even if they were a little scared,” said the Portuguese technician.

Source: CAF