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AFCON: Senegal and Gambia set for intense match



Defending champions Senegal kick off their Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) campaign against Gambia.

Senegal verses Gambia is scheduled for a 2pm GMT kick-off on Monday, January 15, 2024.
The match will take place at the Charles Konan Banny Stadium in Yamoussoukro.

Senegal, who won their first AFCON trophy in a penalty shootout against Egypt two years ago, are among the favorites to defend their title.

Senegal faces an important match against Cameroon, while Gambia aims to cause an upset. Gambia reached the quarter-finals in 2022, defeating Tunisia and Guinea, who are also in Group C.

However, Gambia suffered defeats to Burundi and Ivory Coast at the end of last year, making a poor start to their 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Senegal will be without Boulaye Dia and Seny Dieng for the tournament, but they have been replaced by Bamba Dieng and Alfred Gomis.

Senegal’s forward line will rely heavily on Sadio Mane, while Edouard Mendy and Kalidou Koulibaly will play important roles in the team’s defence, having previously played for Chelsea.

The Gambia squad were forced to make an emergency landing on their flight to Yamoussoukro, with players falling asleep due to a lack of oxygen.

Gambia boss Tom Saintfiet said his players were still struggling with nausea and headaches a day later.

He said: “We all fell asleep because there was a lack of oxygen – some of the players couldn’t be woken up. The pilot noticed and we had to return.

People got headaches and if the flight had gone on for another 30 minutes, the whole team would have died.

See also  AFCON: Nigeria through to finals, meets winner between DR Congo, CIV

The strange thing is that the oxygen masks didn’t come out – it’s good that the pilot realised that this was a deadly situation and so turned back.

But we are still in shock.

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