Senegal face co-host Equatorial Guinea at Estadio de Bata this evening desperately seeking their first three points to keep their 2012 Africa Nations Cup dreams alive.
A draw or defeat will almost certainly see Senegal make headlines for all the wrong reasons.
The Teranga Lions arrived at the tournament last Thursday as a hot favourite and were expected to sweep away the competition in Group A.
But that was not to be after Zambia shocked them with a dream 2-1 win in both sides’ opening Group A game on January 21.
“The result was a shocker, no more silly mistakes, we have to win our next two games,” Senegal coach Amara Traore said.
The pressure also is on Senegal strikers Moussa Sow, Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba, who have been on fire at their respective European clubs, to deliver.
Meanwhile, since the loss the Senegal camp has kept a very low profile to regroup and prepare for an even more unpredictable adversary.
Their opponents and co-host Equatorial Guinea are looking good after their 1-0 win over Libya in Bata that capped a spectacular tournament opening ceremony for the Africa Cup finals first-timers.
Gilson Paulo’s side didn’t disappoint and another shock win this time against Senegal would be good enough to keep their dreams alive of a historic quarterfinal appearance.
However, Paulo must try and contain the exuberance of winger Iban Iyanga who troubled Libya’s backline throughout the game.
Senegal will still have to watch out for him though and also know the danger Equatorial Guinea posses in the much experienced ex-Real Madrid striker Javier Balboa and captain and midfielder Montalaban Edjogo-Owono.