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05.07.2019 Sports News

Senegal face test of credentials against Uganda

By Paul Myers in Cairo - RFI
RFI/Pierre René-Worms
LISTEN JUL 5, 2019
RFI/Pierre René-Worms

Senegal skipper Sadio Mané hailed the progress of Uganda's football team as the sides prepared to meet in Cairo in the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Mané, who won the Uefa Champions League with Liverpool last month, said Sébastien Desabre's squad had shown its qualities in its opening day rout of Democratic Republic of Congo as well as in the defeat to Egypt.

"We saw the kind of football they played against Egypt,” added Mané. “They are a good side and we will need to be at our best to beat them."

Uganda had Egypt on the rack for more than half an hour before Mohamed Salah scored the opener for the hosts in the 2-0 win. Uganda sealed second place and a spot in the knockout stages for the first time since 1978 years after DRC thrashed Zimbabwe 4-0 in the final round of games in Group A.

Progress into the second round is a huge improvement on Uganda's 2017 campaign in Gabon during which their big tournament naivety was brutally exposed on occasions and especially in the 1-0 defeat to Egypt. As the game in Port-Gentil lurched towards a 0-0 draw, Uganda failed to keep possession and Abdallah Said scored in the 89th minute.

Milutin Sredojević's men ulltimately departed with only one point from their three games in the group stages.

Desabre took over in July 2017 after Sredojevic left to coach Orlando Pirates in South Africa.

The 42-year-old Frenchman has kept 10 players from the 2017 tournament and added a crop of youngsters.

"We have reached the second round, which was the minimum target set for us by the national federation," said Desabre. "Anything can happen in knockout matches. What interests me is staying at the tournament for as long as possible.”

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