Senegal head coach Aliou Cisse believes his side was unfortunate to lose to Algeria in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations on Friday night.
A freak Baghdad Bounedjah strike in the second minute of the showpiece’s decider condemned the West Africans to a 1-0 defeat in their second-ever Afcon final.
The Lions of Teranga couldn’t find a way through against a resilient defence, and Cisse, who expected the game to be a tight affair, felt his side didn’t get what they merited.
“A final is decided by fine margins and we deserved better tonight,” Cisse said at the post-match press conference, as reported by SuperSport.
"They put away the chance they needed. On the whole, we didn't let ourselves down. We created chances but weren't able to score.
"When you concede a goal so early in the match the plan becomes clear. You have to attack against an aggressive defence but we weren't able to find the solutions.”
Friday’s closing fixture was the first time in 17 years Senegal would feature in the biennial competition’s final, something their coach was quick to point out when indicating his side’s progress since taking over in 2015.
“The last time Senegal reached this point was in 2002. The experience of big matches, we want to be here more often,” Cisse said.
“We're getting closer to winning. The team has been making progress these past five years.”
Cisse, who captained the Teranga Lions in their defeat at the hands of Cameroon 17 years ago, refused to be drawn on speaking on his future so soon after the frustration of being thwarted at the last hurdle.
"I'm not important. What counts is what I'm doing with the players and the fact the federation has confidence in me.
“It’s been 17 years since Senegal got to this stage of the competition. We've only experienced disillusion and disappointment," he concluded.
Senegal’s defeat in Cairo continued their run of poor results against Algeria, which reads four defeats in the last five competitive games.