Cisse regrets missed chance as players shed tears in Cote d’Ivoire heartbreak.

Cisse regrets missed chance as players shed tears in Cote d’Ivoire heartbreak.

Senegal’s disheartened coach, Aliou Cisse, expressed the emotional toll of witnessing his players’ tears in the locker room following their unexpected defeat in a penalty shootout against Cote d’Ivoire during the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations last 16.

The reigning champions were eliminated 5-4 on penalties by the tournament hosts on Monday, capping a dramatic 1-1 draw after extra time.

Cisse lamented the outcome, particularly for the players who aspired to defend the title and represent their nation. He expressed disappointment in losing despite dominating the match, emphasizing the difficulty of witnessing his players’ emotional distress.

The match took a strange and complicated turn, with Senegal holding the lead until the 86th minute when Franck Kessie equalized from the penalty spot.

Cisse acknowledged a failure to manage the game effectively in crucial moments, contributing to their ultimate defeat in the penalty shootout.

Reflecting on the broader performance, Cisse regretted the loss, especially considering Senegal’s solid showing in the group stage. He pointed out the need for changes and acknowledged the inevitability of adjustments as the team looks to rebuild.

Despite the sorrow and sadness among the players and the Senegalese people, Cisse found pride in Senegal’s flawless group stage campaign with three wins in three matches. Looking ahead, he recognized the importance of regrouping and focusing on bouncing back stronger after falling short in their title defense in a dramatic fashion

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