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(Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP) (Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP via Getty Images)

Senegal Advance to the Round of 16 in the World Cup

They become the first African team to do so since Nigeria and Algeria in 2014.

Senegal have secured a place in the last 16 of the 2022 World Cup after their crucial game against Ecuador on Tuesday. This has pushed the Senegalese team to the knockout round of the World Cup for the first time since they emerged at the quarter-finals back in 2002.

The crucial game, which had very high stakes, saw both teams contend for the win-or-go-home game. In the first half of the game, Senegal soared over its Ecuadorian opponents, who made several attempts to match their energy and intensity. The team played with seamless energy and expertise, and in the 44th minute, Ismaïla Sarr scored a ferocious penalty goal that further ignited the competition.

Somewhere around the 67th minute, Ecuador’s Moisés Caicedo equalized for his team. But then Kalidou Koulibaly, Senegal’s team captain, took home the winning goal, with shot that placed his country in the knockout round.


This is the first time in 20 years the nation has qualified for the round of 16 since 2002, when Papa Bouba Diop was among the legends representing Senegal at the World Cup. Diop passed away in 2020 and exactly two years to the day, and Koulibaly, who scored the winning goal, wore an armband with the number number 19, on it, which was Diop’s shirt number. Senegalese fans in the stands also wore shirts with the number on it as a tribute to the deceased Senegalese icon.

In spite of Sadio Mane’s absence from the game, the Lions of Teranga proved to be proficient enough to seamlessly handle the game and bring home the win. Ismaila Sarr and Koulibaly made their country proud by scoring the goals that solidified their place as the winners.

This means that Aliou Cisse’s team will most likely face England in the next big game and potentially bring them one step closer to bringing the big win home.

The Netherlands team beat host team Qatar 2-0 in Tuesday’s other Group A game, which ultimately eliminated the host team, who struggled throughout their stint in the football competition and had a hard time winning any points over the course of the three games that they participated in.

In a conversation with Aljazeera, Senegalese coach Aliou Cisse promised that his experienced side “would not overthink” the occasion.

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Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

An African Renaissance In Matchday 2 of the World Cup

Morocco, Senegal, Ghana, and Cameroon delivered great performances in the second round of games at the Qatar World Cup.

The African teams represented at the World Cup this year have started thriving.

Morocco was the leading team with four points scored from the two games that they played. During Sunday’s game, they earned an upset 0-2 win when they played against Belgium, a team that many had a favorites to go far this year.

During the second minute of first half stoppage time, Morocco’s Hakim Ziyech fired a free kick into the net. After further analysis, the goal was disallowed, but the Moroccan team bounced back in the 73rd minute when Abdelhamid Sabiri scored a seamless free kick. Zakaria Aboukhlal later scored the second role, which would secure the teams win and mark its second win since 1998.

In their opening game, Walid Regragui’s Morocco team secured a 0-0 draw with Croatia in their opening game before surpassing Belgium in their second match, to put them on the brink of a potential first last-16 spot since 1986, according to The Sporting News.

In spite of the loss of Sadio Mane due to an injury, the Senegal team performed well, with Aliou Cissé's squad winning 1-3 over host team Qatar on Friday. The goals came from Boulaye Dia, Famara Diedhiou, and Bamba Dieng, who all played a part in securing the big win.

In heated game that they played earlier today, Cameroon tied Serbia 3-3. At the 29th minute , Cameroon’s Jean-Charles Castelletto scored the first goal, and after Serbia countered with goals of their own, Cameroon’s Vincent Aboubakar and Maxim Choupo-Moting would add two successive goals, that would tie the game.

Ghana also scored an impressive 3-2 win against South Korea. During the first half of the game, Mohammed Salisu scored a goal in the 24th minute and Mohammed Kudus scored in 34th minute. The third goal was secured by Kudus again, who made it in the 68th minute.

This year, four out of the five African countries represented at the World Cup have African coaches, a reality that has not been the case in previous years.

According to a report from The New York Times, four out of the five African coaches this year started their careers in European football. Senegalese-born Aliou Cissé and Cameroon’s Rigobert Song are two coaches who crafted out a career for themselves in the renowned English Premier League. Morocco’s Walid Regragui and Ghana’s Otto Addo also had successful international careers before they began their coaching career. Out of all the African coaches, Jalel Kadri is a the only coach who played for his home country of Tunisia.

Ever since the World Cup began in 1930, 13 African nations have participated in the World Cup, but only Cameroon (1990), Senegal (2002) and Ghana (2010) have reached the quarterfinal, with none of the teams ever making it to the semi-final round, so it will be interesting to see what African teams cross that thresh hold this year.


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