Tunisia coach Adel Sellimi says their brave performance in their TotalEnergies U-20 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final against Congo is their biggest motivation for Monday’s clash with Senegal.
The Young Carthage Eagles beat Congo in a post-match penalties shoot-out after extra-time to book their place in Monday’s semi-final against the Teranga Cubs who are seen as the favourites.
“The quarter-final match gave us a lot of confidence and it motivated the team to face Senegal,” Adel Sellimi said.
“The performance of the team against Congo showed the level we can play so it serves as a motivation for us.
“We want to win the match and head to the final and we’re confident that we can win tomorrow.”
The Young Carthage Eagles qualified to the TotalEnergies U-20 AFCON as champions of UNAF zone.
Adel Sellimi guided his team to their second consecutive semi-final following their fourth place finish in Mauritania two years ago.
“The semi-final will be a very difficult and a strong match because it’s against Senegal,” the former Tunisia international said.
“Senegal had an extra day to rest but we will be at the same level and our team will be ready for the match.
“We played against Senegal in a friendly match in Tunis before the tournament and of course it will help you to know the opponent but this is a different game altogether,” Sellimi said.
Saint Etienne forward Jibril Othman and goalkeeper Raed Gazzeh stood out against Congo in the quarter-finals but Sellimi says it’s a collective effort.
“I will not talk about one player or two but rather the group because we prepared as a team.
“The goalkeeper Raed Gazzeh had a good performance against Congo but we will have to perform collectively as a team and that was the case in the quarterfinals.”
Captain Mohamed Kechiche says the Young Carthage Eagles are focused on winning against the Young Cubs of Senegal.
“We’re coming into the semi-finals with an objective which is to win against a strong Senegal team and hopefully we will win,” Mohamed told journalists in Ismailia.
“We insist that it’s a semi-final match and we’re motivated to give a good account of ourselves and win.
“We don’t think about the friendly we played against them in Tunis because it’s a different match.”
Tunisia qualified to the quarter-finals following their second place finish in Group C.
They lost to The Gambia in the opening match and drew goalless with Benin before beating Zambia in the last group match to secure their passage to the knockout phase.
“We’re fully focused on winning and qualifying for the final. The team is prepared and motivated after the quarter-finals which gave us a lot of confidence,” the defender said.
“We want to make our people proud by winning and going to the final.”