GUINEA will be looking to change their underdog status at the CAF U-20 AfCON as they face Senegal in today’s semi-final at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
Guinea began the tournament with a 1-0 loss to hosts Zambia, and drew their second game 1-all with Egypt, at which stage the odds seemed against them as pundits wrote them off as the whipping boys of Group A.
But they defied all odds and twice came from behind to beat Mali 3-2 in the final group match to seal qualification to the semi-final to face pre-tournament favourites Senegal.
Having started the tournament with a modest 1-all draw against perennial underdogs Sudan, Senegal went to record victories over South Africa and Cameroon to reach the last four.
Senegal coach Joseph Koto believes national pride has been the driving force behind his team’s performances in the tournament.
“…back home everyone was looking forward to victory or a result that is positive for the nation. It is because of this patriotism that is well known by the players that they have gotten to put up this spirit and fight,” Koto said after his side beat South Africa.
Star striker Ousseynou Diane will again be at the centre of action for Senegal and could be the man to lead his country to Sunday’s final.
Today’s semi-final will determine which team will face either Zambia or South Africa who played yesterday in Lusaka.