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2012 Africa Cup of Nations team profiles: Focus on Senegal’s AFCON history

January 19, 2012 By Angela Asante
Our coverage of the 2012 AFCON's participating nations resumes with a trip to Senegal.

Senegal at the 2012 Africa Cup of NationsThe Lions of Teranga (Les Lions de la Teranga in French) are potentially dangerous. They are among the world’s top 50 nations and 6th in Africa. They are coached by Amara Traore and captained by veteran striker Mamadou Niang. The book of the Senegalese national team’s AFCON adventures is eventful and full of historic moments. You just can’t disregard Senegal’s importance in the history of African football.

A colorful history

Senegal’s first taste of the Nations Cup was in 1965 when they finished fourth behind Ivory Coast. Their next best shot at the competition was in 1992 and in 1994 when they reached the quarterfinals.


Their run at the 1992 African Nations Cup was rather disappointing, considering the fact that they were the hosts. The Lions of Teranga did just enough to qualify from the First Round.

They opened their campaign with a 2-1 defeat to Nigeria but their 3-0 victory over Kenya played the trick. Unfortunately for the home fans, this was Senegal’s only win in the tournament. Cameroon defeated them 1-0 in the Last 8.

In Tunisia 1994, Senegal joined Ghana into the quarterfinals after both teams took advantage of Guinea in the group phase. Zambia ended the Lions of Teranga’s hopes at the Stade Olympique de Sousse on a 1-0 score line. The Zambians went on to clinch silver medals while Nigeria won gold.

Senegal emulated the Chipolopolo at the 2002 African Cup of Nations championship hosted by Mali. On their way to the final stage, the Senegalese topped Group D above Egypt, Tunisia and Zambia as they kept a clean sheet in the process.

Destroying their quarterfinal jinx, the Lions of Teranga devoured Congo DR in Bamako before recording a dramatic extra-time victory over Nigeria in the semifinals. The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon were too strong to daunt in the final as Senegal lost 2-3 on penalties in front of 50,000 spectators at the Stade 26 mars.

The Senegalese have no memory of the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola as they didn’t qualify. In 2008, they couldn’t even match their CAN 2006 fourth-place finish; they crashed in Round 1.

In the absence of Cameroon (which they disqualified en route to Gabon-Equatorial Guinea) and other African giants, how well will the Teranga Lions rise to the occasion?

Senegal at the 2012 Africa Cup of NationsMamadou Niang leads Senegal's forces

They shouldn’t have a problem to qualify from their group. While the Zambians may pose the biggest challenge, Equatorial Guinea and Libya could provide everything Senegal need to reach the quarterfinals. From there, the Lions of Teranga would have to be alert. Every game is a final in the knockout stages of a competition.  

The Senegalese national team’s squad list for the 2012 AFCON goes as follows:

Goalkeepers: Bouna Coundoul, Khadim Ndiaye, Pape Latyr Ndiaye

Defenders: Omar Daf, Pape M. Diakhate, Souleymane Diawara, Jacques Faty, Kader Mangane, Cheikh Mbengue, Mustapha Bayal Sall, Lamine Sane, Armand Traore

Midfielders: Issiar Dia, Mohamed Diame, Remi Gomis, Guirane Ndaw

Forwards: Demba Ba, Souleymane Camara, Papiss Demba Cisse,  Ndiaye Deme Ndiaye, Dame Ndoye, Mamadou Niang, Moussa Sow

Read next team profile - Sudan.


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