Senegal and Ivory Coast will battle for a place in the semifinals of the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations when they meet at Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Tuesday, kick-off at 18h00 local time.
Senegal have had a mixed time of things in Group B thus far, suffering a surprise 2-1 loss to Niger in their opener before bouncing back with a resounding 4-0 win over Benin on Sunday night.
The result leaves the Teranga Lions in second place on three points and with a strong goal difference of plus three. As a result, they need only a draw from this match to secure qualification for the semifinals.
The Ivory Coast, in contrast, simply have to win. The Elephants are on one point from two matches after following up a surprise 1-0 loss to Benin with a goalless draw against Niger on Sunday.
The Elephants have yet to net a goal at the WAFU tournament (they advanced through the last 16 on penalties after drawing 0-0 with Togo) and must find their scoring boots if they are to have any hope of claiming a semifinal berth.
“About our goal scoring problem, we played three matches and we are taking it match after match,” admitted assistant coach Dimy Stephane.
“In our fourth match [against Senegal], I’m sure that we will work together and do something. The players I have are too young and they lack experience, so we can’t ask them to do more.”
Ivory Coast and Senegal have met in 18 previous matches, according to FIFA statistics. The Elephants have claimed 11wins – compared to four for the Teranga Lions – and outscored their opponents 23 goals to 13 in the process.
Ivory Coast v Senegal, head-to-head
Matches played 18
Ivory Coast wins 11
Senegal wins 4
Ivory Coast goals 23
Senegal goals 13