Afcon: Senegal's Diouf cautious over Afcon chances

Senegal striker Mame Biram Diouf (right)
Senegal striker Mame Biram Diouf (right) is taking it game-by-game

Senegal striker Mame Biram Diouf has played down the quarter-finalists' chances of going on to win the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.

The Teranga Lions became the first side to reach the last eight when they beat Zimbabwe 2-0 on Thursday to guarantee they will finish top of Group B.

"It's too early to say (if they can win the title) because we have only played two games," said the Stoke forward.

"But we are really focused and we have a strong team."

Senegal have yet to concede a goal at the tournament, having beaten Tunisia 2-0 in the opener, and have booked their progress to the last eight for the first time since 2006.

That they have done it with a group game to spare suggests they may live up to their potential at these finals - something that has not always been the case.

Senegal have been criticised in the past for appearing to lack cohesion and being too individualistic.


Diouf admits they have had to address the issue but believes they are now seeing the benefit of a change in attitude.

"It has been a while since we got through to the through to the next stage. Now we are there and we will keep focusing game by game," Diouf said.

"In the past years our biggest mistake was that everyone wanted to do it on their own. Now we are thinking more as a team and helping each other.

"We now have the mentality where we try to achieve as a team.

"We will go back and work hard before the next game. We know we have already qualified but there are no easy games here.

"For us we have to take it game by game and keep trying our best. Each game is different, we have to adapt. The coach gives us a game plan, and we go out and try to enjoy the game."

Senegal play their final group game on Monday against Algeria, who must win to keep alive their slim hopes of qualifying for the knockout stage.

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