Kalidou Koulibaly of Senegal during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Finals Senegal Press Conference on the 23 January 2022 at Tagidor Hotel, Bafoussam, Cameroon / Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
Tuesday Jan 25, 2022. 11:00
Defender Kalidou Koulibaly says it is humbling to be tagged perennial AFCON favourites but Senegal are not taking lightly Tuesday’s Atlantic derby date against Cape Verde.
The 2019 runners-up and highest ranked team at AFCON 2021 are hoping to avoid a banana skin during Tuesday’s early evening last 16 kickoff against Cape Verde.
“We must focus on Cape Verde. We must not have any doubt. We are motivated,” the Napoli defender said at the pre-match briefing.
“The media tag us as the favourites. We never said such things but we are pleased to hear that some people think we are the favourites. I received a lot of comments. This proves that Senegal is a great team.”
Koulibaly added that he is confident Senegal would also come good against Cape Verde and end their goal tournament drought.
The Teranga Lions have scored just one goal in the group stages en route to finishing top of Group B on 5 points that came in a 1-0 win over Zimbabwe in their opening game on January 10 that they followed up with two scoreless draws against Guinea and Malawi.
Senegal are also hoping to advance to the quarterfinals for a third successive AFCON.