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Following Senegal’s friendly win over Cameroon, Edouard Mendy spoke about the clash with the Indomitable Lions, and also about the big event that is the AFCON 2023. For the Senegalese goalkeeper, the defending champions will be the team to beat, but they’ll be going to Côte d’Ivoire full of confidence.
Having beaten Cameroon with Senegal in a friendly (1-0), it was an open-minded Edouard Mendy who presented himself to the press. The Senegalese goalkeeper took the opportunity to give his impressions of the match, entitled “Choc des Lions” (Clash of the Lions), which served as a real rehearsal before the reunion at the AFCON, where the two teams will once again do battle in the same group. “We know that at the competition, we have to beat the biggest nations. We now know who we’ll be playing against. All we have to do is keep developing our game plan and go to Côte d’Ivoire with confidence, full of humility, and give everything we’ve got with our country to retain this title,” said the Senegalese keeper.
With their status as defending champions, Edouard Mendy knows that Senegal will be up against it. The Lions will be the team to beat, but he is determined to remain calm ahead of the game.“Everyone’s waiting for us and we’re going to have to respond as calmly as possible. We’ve gained experience.We have to hope that the team is complete so that we can progress and produce a fine African Cup,” he says. To achieve this, the squad is counting on the experience of the last edition, in particular, which enabled them to win the trophy. Senegal got off to a shaky start, barely making it through the group phase, before going from strength to strength as the rounds progressed.
“We’d been conceding a lot of goals for a while”.
“We went through a lot during the AFCON, but we remained confident and serene. We knew that if we were crowned champions, we owed it only to ourselves. We’ve gained a lot of experience, and that showed in games like the one against Brazil. We’re continuing on our way, confident but full of humility. There’s still a lot of work to do before this African Cup, which is going to be very tough. Today, after this match against Cameroon, we’ll be going back to our clubs with a positive outlook,” he says.
Against the Indomitable Lions, Edouard Mendy had few situations to deal with, but was decisive on the only hot ball, winning his duel with Darlin Yongwa.
The save kept his goal intact and prevented the Cameroonians from equalizing. A first since 2022, and a source of obvious satisfaction after several months during which he seemed to be in a clear slump, just like the Senegalese defense, which has broken down on several occasions in recent matches.“It’s something that saddens me a little, myself included (of conceding goals, editor’s note).It’s true that we’d been conceding a lot of goals for a while,” he admitted, before continuing: “On the contrary, that was our strength, not conceding goals or conceding very few.So it’s true that in this match against Cameroon it was important for us to really close up store, as they say, not to concede a goal and to have prevented their strikers from shining.I think that’s very important for the future, because it will give us a lot of confidence.”