Former Senegal midfielder Khalilou Fadiga has disclosed what he thinks is his most memorable game in the Africa Cup of Nations. And, perhaps shockingly, it’s not the final defeat to Cameroon in 2002.
Bruno Metsu’s men put up a strong display against the Indomitable Lions, but surrendered the trophy to the defending champions 3-2 on penalties after scores stood 0-0 after extra time.
But it's not the game – which is the Lions of Teranga’s best finish in the tournament’s history - that Fadiga feels is his most memorable.
It's actually the 2-1 semi-final defeat of Nigeria at the Stade Modibo Keïta, Bamako in the same competition, that delivered the final slot to Senegal, with the 42-year-old admitting they came into the game as underdogs.
In a Q&A with Cafonline.com, Fadiga said: “It was the victory over Nigeria (2-1 after extra time) at the semi-finals of the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations in Mali. Midway into the first half, we were a man down when Pape Sarr was sent off.
“At that time Nigeria were highly rated and we beat them to reach the final. The other game I have fond memories of is the quarter-final clash again against Nigeria in 2000 in Lagos.
“It was my first AFCON quarter final and I scored after seven minutes. With five minutes remaining, I saw most of the fans leaving the stadium, and I thought we had almost qualified as we were leading 1-0. Then Julius Aghahowa pops up and scored two wonderful goals to cut short our dreams.”