Senegal have received a major boost ahead of their decisive 2017 Total U-20 Africa Cup of Nations Group B match with Cameroon on Sunday as captain Mamadou Diarra is available for selection after serving a one match suspension.
Diarra was given a straight red card in Senegal’s opening match with Sudan for a challenge on Eid Mugadam Abakar Mugadam and missed his team’s second match against South Africa which Senegal won 4-3 on Thursday.
Senegal coach Marie Joseph Francois Koto said he was happy to have his captain available and expected him to have a positive influence against Cameroon.
“It gives is joy that the team is complete with the return of the captain and gives us impetus to work hard. The captain is very important to the team but it is up to him to show that his absence had an effect on the team and that he is ready to join his friends in working for the team to complete the job we already started. It is good to have him back and we are looking forward to a good game.
And Diarra who only lasted 18 minutes on the field of play before being sent off says he will work hard to help the team qualify for the semi-finals.
“Now that I am available I am going to play with my teammates and my wish is to help the team so that we get the desired result,” he said.
Group B was thrown wide open after Senegal defeated South Africa and Cameroon won their match against Sudan.
Senegal lead Group B with 4 points and will need to defeat Cameroon who are a point adrift if they are to reach the semi-finals. Their match will be played at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola while second placed South Africa on 3 points will also be looking to bounce back with victory over Sudan at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.