"We had a greater desire to win"  - Senegal coach Thiaw


Senegal coach Pape Thiaw says his side's intense desire to win made the difference in their first game of the 2022 TotalEnergies African Nations Championship against Cote d'Ivoire on Saturday.

The home-based Teranga Lions defeated their West African rivals 1-0 during their Group B match in Annaba even though the Elephants gave them as tough time during the match.

Moussa Ndiaye came off the bench to score a 77th minute winner at the 19 May 1956 Stadium after the intervention of the VAR.

"Games against a great team like Ivory Coast must create problems for the opponents. It wasn't different today. However, we showed greater desire even though there were moments of difficulties. We are happy to start with a win," Pape Thiaw said.

Thiaw's second half substitutes made the difference, but the gaffer takes full responsibility for his choices, including leaving them on the bench.

"We decided to start with some players. It doesn't mean the others are less important. We stay together as a group and count on everyone."

Senegal's Lamine Camara, bagged home the Man of the match award, and won plaudits from his coach.

"Lamine is a good young player with a lot of qualities. Today he showed character and what we expect from young Senegalese players."

Up next for Thiaw's Senegal, is a second Group B game against the Cranes of Uganda on Wednesday January 18 at the same venue.

"I am yet to watch Uganda but I will try to do so tonight and see what to gather from it," a satisfied Thiaw concluded.