Ecuador 1-2 Senegal : African champions book their spot in knockout round

Last Updated on 29/11/2022 by

Senegal defeated Ecuador 2-1 to clinch a spot in the World Cup’s round of 16.

A crucial victory in this winner-takes-all match in Group A was secured by Kalidou Koulibaly’s superb volley 20 minutes from time. By finishing six points behind the Netherlands, they overtake Ecuador for second place.

Ecuador vs Senegal
pic @twitter

Senegal had a strong first half, so when they fell behind halfway through the second half, it came as a minor shock. However, they wasted no time regaining the lead, and they went on to win brilliantly.

Senegal has only ever advanced from the World Cup group stage twice; the last time they did so was in 2002, when they went on to the quarterfinals. The horrors of 2018, when they were eliminated at this stage due to the fair play rule after finishing with a record identical to Japan, have been eliminated.

Following their match against Qatar, Aliou Cisse made a few adjustments to his Senegalese team. Attackers Famara Diedhiou and Krepin Diatta were replaced by Ndiaye and holding midfielder Pathe Ciss.

Ecuador vs Senegal
pic @twitter

Although Ecuador barely threatened Edouard Mendy’s goal in the first half, this did not diminish their offensive prowess, as they still generated a lot of chances.

In the first eight minutes, Idrissa Gueye and Boulaye Dia both squandered golden opportunities, but as the half went on, the pressure mounted on Ecuador’s goal.

After Piero Hincapie knocked Ismaila Sarr to the ground in the penalty area and French referee Clement Turpin pointed to the spot, Senegal eventually took the lead just before halftime.

Sarr calmly placed the penalty past Hernรกn Galindez into the bottom right corner after picking himself up to take it.

Ecuador vs Senegal
pic @twitter

While Ecuador continued to pose little threat in the second half, Senegal appeared content to hold onto what they had, and Cisse’s team was defeated by a set piece. Moises Caicedo was left all by himself at the back post with the easiest of tasks to complete in order to slide the ball beyond Mendy for the equaliser following Felix Torres’ flick on from a corner.

Just two minutes later, however, the African team would retake the lead from a set piece of their own after Enner Valencia had failed to clear Gueye’s dangerous delivery, which had allowed Koulibaly the opportunity to volley home from close range.

Even though Ecuador only needed a point to advance before the game, they gave it their all in the game’s final period but were unable to pierce the Senegalese defence once more, losing and being eliminated.

Senegal will now look forward to a knockout match, and since England are the current favourites to be their next opponents, moving even further in this competition would culminate what has already been an historic year for the national team, which began with them being named the winners of the Africa Cup of Nations.


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