Senegal coach Aliou Cisse is proud of his team despite seeing them bow out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia on fair play points on Thursday.
Senegal lost 1-0 to Colombia courtesy of a 74th minute header from Yerry Mina.
The Teranga Lions of Senegal finished third in Group H despite having the same points with runners-up Japan.
Cisse’s side were knocked out on fair play rules having had more yellow cards (six) than Japan, who received four in three games. He however vowed to encourage his dedicated players who have served the country well.
“I am very proud of my team today and I’m proud of their work. But Senegal have not qualified because we did not deserve to qualify. Such is life,” he told FIFA.com after the defeat.
“Fair Play points are one of the rules and these rules have been established in the tournament regulations; we have to respect that. We would have preferred to be eliminated in another way but that’s the way it works and we knew that those were the regulations.
“I feel we could have scored in the first half and I think we controlled the match quite well. I’m just disappointed for my team, for this generation and for these players who fight every single day for our country.
“I will continue to encourage them and to be with them because I think we can expect many more good things from them in the future.”