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AFCON 2023: Defending champions, Teranga Lions of Senegal roars into knockout stages

Posted : 24 January 2024

The African Cup of Nations (AFCON) defending champions, the Teranga Lions of Senegal, have become the first team to earn full group points after a 2-0 win over the Syli Nationals of Guinea.

The defending champions, the Teranga Lions of Senegal, showed their championship spirit in the last match of Group C, displaying character and energy to emerge as the first country to get the maximum points of 9 in the group stages, defeating the Syli National of Guinea 2-0 to top Group C at Stade Bouake.

The match between Senegal and Guinea was confrontational, with both teams holding on fiercely. Players on the bench rushed to the field, necessitating the intervention of the center referee, Pacifique Ndabihawenimana of Burundi, to stop the match for a few minutes over a couple of times.

Maccabi Haifa player from Israel, Abdoulalaye Seek, scored the opening goal for Senegal in the 61st minute. The defending champions endured a turbulent match thereafter until the 90th minute when Saudi Arabia's Al Nassir strike option, Sadio Mane, set up Marseilles IIiman Ndiaye to score, setting a record for Senegal, which has never won all three group matches before.

Former African Player of the Year, Sadio Mane, however, remained solid, although his two goals were ruled out by the referee.

In the other match, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon got their much-needed victory as they battled to a 3-2 victory over the Scorpions of Gambia in a dicey encounter that marveled observers who thought Gambia would have won the match.

Cameroon’s first goal came in the 56th minute through Karl Toko N’Koudou, but Gambia equalized in the 72nd minute through Ablie Jallow off a coded pass by Fadara.

Gambia took the lead with the second goal through Swiss Young Boys player, Ebrima, in the 85th minute, only for James Gomez to give Cameroon the second goal in an own-goal default. Christopher Wooh then sent the whole of Cameroon jubilating with the winner in the 90+1 minute.


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The last result means Senegal reigns supreme in the Group C affairs with full points of 9, scoring 8 goals and conceding just a goal. Cameroon popped up second with 4 points, scoring 5 goals and conceding 6, with a +1 goal difference to painfully displace Guinea to the 3rd place with also 4 points, scoring 2 goals and conceding 3 goals with a -1 goal difference while Gambia’s Scorpion will crawl home being at the bottom with no points, 2 goals scored, and 7 conceded.

The Round of 16 matches will start on Saturday with two matches per day at 6 pm and 9 pm.

Nigeria will play Cameroon at Houphouet Boigny Stadium on January 27th at 9 pm; Cape Verde will play the 3rd team in group A/D at Boigny Stadium on January 29th; Egypt will play the runners-up of Group F at San Pedro on January 28th, and Equatorial Guinea will meet Guinea on January 28th at Quattara Stadium. Senegal will play the 3rd team in group A/F on January 29th at Yamoussoukro. Cape Verde will play the 3rd team in Group D at Boigny Stadium on January 29th.




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