Senegal’s Loss Against Algeria in the 2019 Final of The African Cup of Nations Almost Made Me cry – Kouyate

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Senegal midfielder, Cheikhou Kouyate claimed he was on the verge of crying after his team lost 1-0 to Algeria in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final in Egypt.

Senegal's Loss Against Algeria in the 2019 Final of The African Cup of Nations Almost Made Me cry - Senegal midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate
Senegal’s Loss Against Algeria in the 2019 Final of The African Cup of Nations Almost Made Me cry – Kouyate

The 32-year-old describes the aftermath of the Lions of Teranga’s defeat against the Desert Warriors in the previous edition.

The Lions of Teranga had made it to the final of the championship for the second time, but they were defeated by the Desert Warriors, who triumphed 1-0 at Cairo International Stadium thanks to a goal from Baghdad Bounedjah.

Kouyate, who presently plays for Crystal Palace in the Premier League and captained Senegal in the 2019 edition, believes they were unlucky in the final because “we deserved more.”

“My summer was extremely busy during the Africa Cup of Nations; it was special for me, my teammates, and all Senegalese people,” Kouyate stated ahead of the 2021 edition in Cameroon, as reported by the club’s official website.

“In the final, we were unlucky. We deserved more, but we gave it our all to help the Senegalese people win. We thank God for assisting us in getting there, and who knows, maybe next time. But, on the whole, it was a fantastic experience.

“The joy of reaching the final helped the country focus on a single goal and a single team; everyone was at ease.”

After the final whistle of the final at the 75, 000-seat capacity, Kouyate revealed how his captaincy role allowed him to rally the group.

Senegal's Loss Against Algeria in the 2019 Final of The African Cup of Nations Almost Made Me cry - Senegal midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate
Senegal’s Loss Against Algeria in the 2019 Final of The African Cup of Nations Almost Made Me cry – Kouyate

“You’re not only looking for solace for yourself, but you’re also the one your colleagues – both veterans and rookies – look to for guidance. How do you strike a balance between not wanting your teammates’ disappointment to compound your own?” Kouyate went on.

“It’s extremely difficult because you’re the captain, but you don’t want to cry in front of your teammates, especially the younger ones, because you need to show them how to deal with the setback.”

“You get them focused on going deeper at the Africa Cup of Nations the next time; I tell them, ‘Don’t cry.'” Stay tough, you’re an incredible player.’ But it’s difficult for me because I want to cry, but this is football, and you have to forget about it and look forward.”

Algeria crowned AFCON champions after edging Senegal - 2019 Africa Cup of  Nations - Algeria
Senegal’s Loss Against Algeria in the 2019 Final of The African Cup of Nations Almost Made Me cry – Kouyate

“It’s always fantastic to see them,” Kouyate said of his teammates, Ghana’s Jordan Ayew and Jeffrey Schlupp, and Ivory Coast’s Wilfried Zaha. “But when you play against your teammates, you want to win for your nation.”

“However, outside of the game, we have a great friendship.” ‘Hey, the Ghana national team is the finest,’ Jordan will remark, and I will respond, ‘No, no, it’s all about Senegal.’ Bakary [Sako] would then be all about Mali when he arrived.

“However, it’s wonderful to have it.” The competition is fun for us.” The Senegal Midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate said.

Senegal’s 2021 AFCON campaign kicks off on Monday with a Group B match against Zimbabwe at Bafoussam Omnisport Stadium. Kouyate is one of the players named in the team.

Following their match against the Warriors, the Lions of Teranga will face Guinea on January 15 before meeting Malawi on January 18.

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