After losing 5-4 on penalties to Cameroon in their African Nations Cup quarterfinal Saturday, Senegal coach Aliou Cisse refused to blame his players for the defeat saying he feels sorry for them, and that they wanted to write their own piece of history.

“The elimination is not easy for us. It is hard for us and the country, who were expecting so much from us,” Cisse told the post-game press conference.

Senegal’s Sadio Mane missed the vital spot-kick in a shoot-out as Cameroon produced a smash-and-grab performance to win 5-4 on penalties following a 0-0 draw at full time.

“I’m the first person to feel their pain,” Cisse said, referring to his players. “It is very hard for us in the dressing room, but we can raise our heads high.”

A pulsating match produced a host of chances, mostly for a dominant Senegal, but no goals as a combination of poor finishing and some excellent goalkeeping meant the tie had to be decided by a shoot-out.

“The Cameroonian defence was compact from the start till the end. We created several opportunities but they resisted all our attacks.”

“Senegal is sad again, but life goes on,” Aliou Cisse concluded.

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