AFCON 2024: Senegal the Favorite, Yet Cautious Against a Resilient Ivory Coast

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
2 Min Read
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Senegal, impressive in the group stage, enters the knockout round as the favorite against an Ivory Coast team that revealed its weaknesses in front of its fans. However, for this Round of 16 clash on Monday, January 29 in Yamoussoukro (20:00 UTC), the Lions remain vigilant against an Ivory Coast side that believes in its potential for an upset.

On one side, Senegal is the only team to win all three matches in the group stage, scoring eight goals and conceding only one, exuding control and solidity. On the other side, Ivory Coast, lacking a clear playing identity, with fragile mental resilience, was humiliated by Equatorial Guinea (4-0) in front of its home crowd. The Ivorian team subsequently dismissed its coach, attempted to revert to the previous one, and was compelled to appoint Emerse Fae as the new head coach.

All the elements seem to align for this Senegal-Ivory Coast encounter to be a walk in the park for the Lions. However, in the eyes of Aliou Cissé, the lessons from the group stage are to be archived: “All of that is no longer important. It’s the past; a new competition begins. A very difficult match awaits us against Ivory Coast. A team that will want to redeem itself in front of its home crowd.”

Nevertheless, there is no room for the Lions to perceive themselves as anything less than their impressive form in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations. Even against the host nation. “We know the environment, the hostility of the crowd as well. But we have arguments to put forward; it’s about concentrating on what we know how to do: playing,” asserts Aliou Cissé.

Soukaina Sghir

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