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Qatar 2022: Senegal become first African country to reach the second round with victory over Ecuador

Even without Sadio Mane, the Lions still roared in Qatar

Senegal become the first African side to qualify for the round of 16

Senegal entered their final group game knowing they had to win to progress to the next round, while Ecuador knew that a point would be enough for them.

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Ecuador switched back to the 4-3-3 system that saw them defeat Qatar in their opening game, jettisoning the more conservative –4-2 employed against the Netherlands in an attempt to catch the desperate Lions off guard on the counter attack.

Senegalese head coach, Aliou Cisse also decided for a more familiar 4-2-3-1 formation from the 4-4-2 that gave them their first victory against Qatar as well.

The opening 45 minutes flew by as both sides wasted a flurry of good chances to take the lead.

Senegal were especially wasteful, with Idrissa Gueye and Boulaye Dia missing their best chances, and gave a Ecuador a warning of what was to come.

Despite the warnings, Ecuador were no wiser to the danger posed by the Senegalese, and on the cusp of half time, Senegal took the lead through an Ismaila Sarr penalty.

After the break, Senegal switched to a more conservative approach, as they dared Ecuador to breach their defence.

The Ecuadorians proved that they were up to the task when they drew level in the 67th minute through Moises Caicedo.

By the time Ecuador we’re done celebrating, they found that they were already behind as Senegalese captain, Kalidou Koulibaly scored a real captain’s goal to send Senegal through to the next round.

Even after starting impressively, Ecuador find themselves exiting the World Cup at the first hurdle after a brave fight.

Senegal on the other hand, have now qualified for the knockout rounds of the World Cup for the first time since their debut in 2002.

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