Big blow for Senegal as defender Kalidou Koulibaly is ruled out of their final against Algeria
Highly ranked defender Kalidou Koulibaly has been ruled out of Senegal’s clash with Algeria in the final of this year’s Total Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
The 28-year-old impactful defender who also plays for Napoli FC in Italy recorded his second booking in three matches.
“It’s a shame we will be without Kalidou, he’s vital in this team, a player who gives us a lot. We will also be playing for him,” midfielder Pape Alioune Ndiaye noted.
Koulibaly received his second yellow card in Senegal’s hard-fought 1-0 extra-time victory over Tunisia on Sunday 30th June.
This will be coach Cisse’s second AFCON final since 2002 both as a player and a coach for Senegal.
Senegal will go head to head with Algeria on Friday 19th July in a battle for the Afcon gold medal
This encounter will be a repeat of Group C clash between the two sides the Senegalese will be looking to revenge after losing to the Algerians by a goal to nil in the group stages of this years ACON campaign.
Meanwhile, Senegal’s coach, Aliou Cisse has claimed that it would be a dream for his country to win this year’s trophy to erase the disappointment of 2002.
“There is pride at getting to the final. It had been 17 years since we got this far, since my generation in 2002. Our philosophy is to take a game at a time and try to play the best football to erase the disappointment of 2002. It’s a dream to win the title not only for me but for all the Senegalese people. We are close to realizing this dream that we could not achieve in 2002,” Cisse said.
Appropriately, Tunisia will go head to head with Nigeria in a battle for the third and fourth place on Wednesday 17th July.
By John Dalton Kigozi