- Senegal qualifies for Poland 2019 as African champions
- that Teranga Lion will face host country, Colombia and Tahiti
- Senegal continues to appear in two good performances
At U-20, Senegal has dominated the African scene for six years, but Teranga Lion disappointed: they reached the continental finals three times in a row, but had to settle for second place and qualifying tickets for the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
"For Senegal, playing three African finals in a row is unclear," said Youssouph Dabo, coach of Teranga Lions, in the microphone. FIFA.com. "I think it's good to reach this stage of the competition. That means that we get closer every time to first place. One day, it will pass."
The Africa Under-20 Cup marks an important turning point for the Senegal team, who won their World Cup qualifiers after the final tournament Teranga Lion and the continent's best choice.
"Our qualification for the World Cup is because our program is in CAN in Niger and our accession to the final is a good competition for us. We feel that this group has made a lot of progress. We make ourselves respected by everyone and that matters, "added the coach. "It's a shame we missed the historic coronation."
Senegal quickly begin their preparations for the World Cup, scheduled for May 23 to June 15. The African Deputy Champion arrived on Monday in Poland to make the final adjustment.
"The preparation went well. We have the whole group with us now and that is fine. We must continue to work well and stay focused on what we know how to do," said a Senegalese technician, who revealed the official list of players gathered . Among them is Alpha Diounkou, the great hope of Manchester City.
Beware of surprises
In the group stage, Senegal will face host countries, Colombia and Tahiti.
"We will face Tahiti, which we do not know at all, and there are always surprises against such opponents. In contra, Colombia are regular players in the competition, while Poland play at home. They will be confident," said Dabo. "This is a difficult group but it is expected because we are talking about the World Cup. The match will definitely be contested. We will have our chance, we will take it."
Senegal reached the 2015 New Zealand semifinals, before losing to another African team, Mali. Two years later, in the Republic of Korea, Teranga Lion fell to Mexico in the round of 16.
Dabo's plan is clear: "We will play without thinking about the two previous editions because it will be in vain. We have to get out of our group. Then we will see". For the Senegalese coach, "all teams that will be in Poland can win the tournament … and Senegal is one of them".