One of the hot favourites for the African Cup of Nations, Senegal, were sent packing yesterday by co-hosts, Equatorial Guinea. The National Lightning left it late to produce one of the biggest upsets in the history of the competition.
Randy opened the scoring in the game that was played in the Estadio de Bata, before Moussa Sow who plays in France for Lille, equalised in the 89th minute. But Kily produced a sensational 25-yard drive deep into added time to send the stadium into a frenzy. Not even the sending off of their centre-back, Laurence Doe, moments after the goal was enough to kill the atmosphere.
This achievement is stunning in all ramifications, as the coach of the team, Gilson Paulo only met his squad three weeks ago. On the other hand, Senegal came into the competition with Africa’s best forward line that included Moussa Sow (Lille), Demba Ba & Papiss Demba Cisse (Newcastle), Dame Ndoye, Mamadou Niang (Marseille), etc. But they all laboured against the debutants who are one of the lowest-ranked teams (they are 151st in the world) to ever contest a Nations Cup.
“I congratulate Equatorial Guinea for qualifying,” a downcast Amara Traore, coach of Senegal said. “We tried everything, I’m content for my players, they gave their all. I am frustrated though, as we came here to make an impact.”
One coach who will beaming with smiles is Alan Pardew. The Newcastle manager just concluded the signing of Papiss Demba Cisse to form a mouth watering partnership upfront with country man, Demba Ba. The Teranga Lions have a meaningless game against Libya left, before the strikers depart to Tyneside.