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For Cisse, World Cup as coach much harder than as captain

Senegal’s head coach Aliou Cisse listens to the nationals anthems previous to the World Cup spherical of 16 soccer match between England and Senegal, on the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022.

  • Senegal's head coach Aliou Cisse listens to the nationals anthems prior to the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between England and Senegal, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022.
  • Senegal's head coach Aliou Cisse gives instructions to his players during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between England and Senegal, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022.

AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — As captain, Aliou Cisse led Senegal to victory over the defending World Cup champions and all the way in which to the quarterfinals, matching Africa’s greatest run in its first look on the match.

As coach, Cisse is discovering the World Cup a lot, a lot more durable.

The present African champions misplaced to England 3-0 on Sunday in a surprisingly lopsided outcome and had been knocked out within the final 16.

Senegal had arrived with excessive hopes of not less than matching that quarterfinal run of twenty years in the past, even with out injured ahead Sadio Mane, however was stopped by a ruthless efficiency from England.

You are reading: For Cisse, World Cup as coach much harder than as captain

“We simply weren’t pretty much as good as we should always have been,” Cisse stated. “However I’m not attempting to make excuses. We have now labored for years to be the most effective African facet however now we had been enjoying a staff within the prime 5 on the earth and I believe you noticed the distinction.”

Cisse has been a pivotal determine for Senegal at each one of many nation’s three appearances on the World Cup — captain in 2002, coach in 2018 and this yr.

That staff in 2002 beat defending champion France within the match’s opening recreation in a outcome nonetheless seen as one of many World Cup’s largest upsets. Senegal went on to turn out to be solely the second African staff after Cameroon in 1990 to make the final eight.

However Cisse’s return as coach of Senegal resulted in his first bitter expertise of the World Cup in 2018, when the staff was eradicated within the group stage on a good play rule as a result of it had picked up extra yellow playing cards than Japan.

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In Qatar, there was a pre-tournament perception that Africa’s top-ranked staff can be a harmful opponent for anybody contemplating the depth of the squad, and since it lastly fulfilled its promise by successful its first African Cup of Nations title in February.

The incident which may have had essentially the most influence on Senegal’s hopes got here two weeks earlier than the World Cup began, when Mane slipped to the bottom in a German league recreation with an harm to his proper leg. It dominated Senegal’s all-time main scorer and the driving drive behind its latest success out of the World Cup, forcing Cisse to vary a lot of his recreation plan with hardly any time.

Clearly hampered by the absence of Mane’s attacking risk up entrance, and likewise with out key midfielders Idrissa Gueye (suspended) and Cheikhou Kouyate (injured), Senegal’s problem pale away in opposition to England.

Senegal missed Mane “drastically,” Cisse stated, however he additionally admitted his protection struggled badly in opposition to England and gave an sincere evaluation of how far his staff nonetheless needed to go to compete with the most effective on the earth.

“I wasn’t anticipating to let in three objectives,” he stated. “We’re on the World Cup right here so that you face the most effective groups on the earth. One of many massive 5 at world stage.

“You pay for any mistake you make and any mistake we made tonight we paid for. Senegal has to maintain working.”

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Senegal can also need to lastly resist going to a World Cup with out Cisse. It’s by no means occurred earlier than.

However whereas Cisse has prolonged his teaching contract to 2024, when Senegal will defend its African Cup title, he hasn’t dedicated to the 2026 World Cup. He stated Sunday he wasn’t certain how lengthy he’d keep now.

“We’ve simply misplaced a recreation and been knocked out the match,“ Cisse stated, ”and I would like to attract the teachings after which we’ll see.”

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AP World Cup protection: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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