Senegal didn’t deserve round 16 spot – Aliou Cisse

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse says his side didn’t deserve to qualify to the Fifa World Cup round 16 stage in their 1-0 loss to Colombia.

The Teranga Lions conceded through a 74th minute header from Cafeteros defender Yerry Mina, thereby finishing third in the group behind leaders Colombia and second-placed Japan.

The 2002 quarter-finalists were eliminated on fair-play rule, having tied the Samurai Blue on points, goal difference, goals scored and head-to-head.

A higher tally of yellow cards (six against four) proved utterly decisive for the first time in the history of the World Cup.

Speaking to reporters at the end of the encounter, Cisse lamented:

“Senegal have not qualified because we did not deserve to qualify. I feel we could have scored in the first half and I think we controlled the match quiet well.

I’m just disappointed for my team, for this generation and for these players who fight every single day for our country.”

The 42-year-old added that their exit is a painful one due to the Fifa fair play rule.

“This is one of the rules. We knew it and there are a number of rules which are established in the regulations and we have to respect that.

“We would have preferred to be eliminated in another way, it’s a pity for us but this is how it works. I am proud of the work the boys have done in the last month.”

“I will continue to encourage them and to be with them because I think we can expect many more good things from them in the future,” he concluded.

Senegal’s exit means there are no more African teams at the 2018 World Cup.

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