- Morocco, Benin Rep. to open Last 16 fixtures
Sadio Mane has said it is his “absolute dream” to help Senegal win the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time.
Senegal, runners-up in 2002, are looking to reach the quarter-finals for the second successive time when they face Uganda this evening.
Mane is joint-leading scorer at the tournament with two goals along with 10 other players – including his Liverpool team-mate, Egypt’s Mohamed Salah.
“For me, the most important thing is to win it with Senegal,” said Mane.
Senegal reached the knockout stage after finishing runners-up to Algeria in Group C.
Mane, a Champions League winner with Liverpool in June, was suspended for the opening group victory over Tanzania but scored twice in the 3-0 win over Kenya after appearing in a 1-0 defeat by Algeria.
Before the start of the month-long tournament in Egypt, Mane told France Football magazine that he would trade his Champions League success to win the Africa Cup of Nations.
Sadio Mané : «Prêt à échanger une Ligue des champions contre une CAN»
Dans un entretien à paraître ce mardi dans France Football, l’attaquant de Liverpool et du Sénégal, se raconte c…
“I will try to score more goals and help my team-mates score so that we can finally win this cup,” added Mane, who could play against Liverpool team-mate Salah if Senegal and Egypt reach the final on 19 July.
“This is my absolute dream (to help Senegal win). I am here for this.”
Uganda finished runners-up to hosts Egypt in the group stage but their preparations for the Senegal match have been overshadowed by a pay dispute.
Their players boycotted training on Tuesday, but Mane has warned his side not to underestimate their opponents.
Uganda hit by Africa Cup of Nations cash dispute
The Cranes players refused to train on Tuesday in a row over payments at the tournament in Egypt.
“We saw the kind of football they played against Egypt and they are a very good side. We must be at our best against Uganda,” he said.
Morocco needed an 89th-minute own goal to get past Namibia in their opening group game and a 90th-minute winner to beat South Africa in their last one.
The Atlas Lions are one of only three teams to emerge from the group stage with a 100% winning record and will fancy their chances against Benin in the early kick-off (17:00 BST).
Benin advanced without winning a single group game.
However, draws against four-time champions Ghana, Guinea-Bissau and Cameroon saw them make progress as one of the best four third-placed teams.
ROUND OF 16 FIXTURES
Egypt Vs South Africa
Madagascar Vs DR Congo
Nigeria Vs Cameroon
Senegal Vs Uganda
Algeria Vs Guinea
Morocco Vs Benin Republic
Mali Vs Cote d’Ivoire
Ghana Vs Tunisia