Senegal’s experience of playing in the last Africa Cup of Nations final will be a “good asset” for the team in Sunday’s title decider, according to forward Sadio Mane.

Senegal, which beat Burkina Faso 3-1 on Wednesday to reach the final, has yet to win the continental title but came close in Cairo in 2019.

“Experience is a good asset,” said Mane, who scored Senegal’s third on Wednesday.

“I think that has always been the case since the start of this tournament. We suffered so much with a lot of COVID cases and several injuries too. We had a very difficult time but with our experience we kept calm until we recovered the whole group. We played a final last time, so we have experience and we will try to win this trophy.”

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Senegal was also runner-up in 2002, the year it went to the World Cup in Japan and South Korea and beat holder France in the opening game and became just the second African country to reach the quarterfinals. The comparisons between that generation and the current side have increased as Senegal progressed through the tournament.

“There are a lot of leaders in this team because we have a lot of great players and a lot of mature players. Everyone is making a contribution so that the team can move forward,” added Mane.

Senegal will play either Cameroon or Egypt in Sunday’s final at the Olembe Stadium in Yaounde. The second semifinal is later on Thursday.