Cisse: AFCON final 'a game for history'

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse has commented on his side reaching the Africa Cup of Nations final, and compared the current Lions of Teranga outfit to the team that achieved the same feat 17 years ago.

Sadio Mane and company booked their spot to face Algeria in the final of the African spectacle after defeating Tunisia 1-0 in their semi-final at the 30 June Air Defence Stadium on Sunday, a clash that most notably saw both sides miss spot-kicks in regular time.

Cisse, 43, formed part of the last Senegal squad that reached the final of the tournament, suffering heartbreak at the hands of Cameroon, who clinched their fourth Afcon title courtesy of a 3-2 victory on penalties.

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Ahead of his side's crunch tie against Riyad Mahrez's Desert Foxes, Cisse discussed his men's chances of being crowned Afcon champions.

"I feel very proud. We haven't reached the final since 17 years," he told CAFOnline.com.

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

"Football is always charming. At a moment you think you lost control over the game and fate will do it all. Against Tunisia it was like that. This is a game for history."

Senegal will do duty against Algeria for the second time in the tournament, with the Desert Foxes securing a 1-0 victory over the Lions of Teranga in a Group C clash.

Cisse is hopeful his side will do better in their historic tie against the Algerians, and also claimed he has achieved all that he wanted to as coach of the Senegal national team.

"I have unlimited trust in my players and I felt they want to achieve something," he added.

"They did all what is needed to win. This generation is better than the 2002 one. My players told me they will be better than us, and they did.

"My relationship with them is like a father-sons one. When I became their coach in 2015, I told them our target is to reach the FIFA World Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations final.

"That was the way to convince Kalidou Koulibaly to play for Senegal instead of France. Now here we are."

The two sides will meet at the Cairo International Stadium for the final on Friday night, with kick-off set for 21:00.

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