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Senegal Becomes First African Nation To Qualify For FIFA World Cup Round Of 16 Since 2014

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The Africa Champions,  Senegal beat Ecuador 2-1 to become the first African nation to qualify for the round of 16 at a FIFA World Cup since 2014 on Tuesday, 29th November, 2022.

The Lions of Teranga took the lead at the 44th minute as Ismaila Sarr converted the penalty after Piero Hincapie brought him down to he earn the African champions a penalty which he ballooned the ball past Hernan Galindez straight into the bottom right corner to make it 1-0.

 

Moises Caicedo had the best chance in the 67th minute for Ecuador which he nicked it perfectly to cancel Ismaila Sarr’s opener – which, seemingly, looked like Ecuador was on course for the round of 16.

The Tri’s jubilation was quickly cut short two minutes later as Senegal free-kick found its way to Kalidou Koulibaly, who changed the fortunes of the game as he was at the right place, at the right time to volley a rebound inside the box and nicked the ball into the net to make it 2-1.

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With two wins and a loss, African champion Senegal finished behind Netherlands in second place in Group A at the ongoing edition in Qatar. In the round of 16 fixture, Senegal will face the Group B topper.

 

Ecuador’s exit seems too surprising after being marked as one of the tourney’s potential surprise package, after blowing away Qatar and going neck-to-neck with the Netherlands, but the Tri’s could not deliver a third performance of the same power and deftness.

 

The win propelled Senegal to the second spot in Group A with six points, one point behind the Netherlands, the group winners who toddled (won 2-1) past hosts Qatar.

 

 

 

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Four years ago at the World Cup in Russia, Senegal had missed out on a spot in the knockouts in heartbreaking fashion as it became the first team to be eliminated based on disciplinary record after finishing joint-second with Japan during the group stage on points, goal difference, goals scored and head-to-head record.

Senegal had made its World Cup debut in 2002 where it shocked the then defending champion France 1-0 in its first group match. It eventually lost 0-1 to Turkey in the quarterfinals of the edition, hosted by South Korea and Japan. Interestingly, Aliou Cisse, the current coach of the national side, was the captain of the 2002 squad.

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The African nation, nicknamed ‘Lions of Teranga,’ had to wait for 16 years before it finally managed to qualify for its second World Cup in 2018.

 

 

 

 

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