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Senegal edge Ecuador to seal qualification to round of 16


Sinan Rajub SENOGA 

Senegal 2-1 Ecuador

Kalidou Koulibaly scored a late winner that sent Senegal to the round of 16 of the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The Lions of Terranga finished as runners up of Group A with six points at the expense of Ecuador who finished third with four points.

Senegal came into the contest with nothing to settle for but a win so as to qualify while Ecuador only wanted a draw to confirm their place in the last 16s.

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Ismaila Sarr scored the first goal for Senegal through a penalty in the 44th minute after he was bundled down in the area by defender Piero Hinchape.

The Ecuadorians equalized through Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo who effortlessly tapped the ball into the net from a corner kick in the 67th minute.

The 1-1 scoreline short-lived for only three minutes as Koulibaly struck the winning goal for the African champions after Idrisa Gueye’s free kick was not well dealt with by the Ecuador defenders.

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Senegal jealously defended their lead and ultimately sealed the coveted berth in the knock out stages.

This is the second time Senegal have advanced from the group stages, with the first one being in the 2002 edition in South Korea and Japan.

The historic victory came on the same date Senegal’s 2002 hero Papa Bouba Diop died two years ago.

The other group game saw Netherlands emerge as group winners with seven points after beating hosts Qatar 2-0 courtesy of Cody Gakpo and Frenkie De Jong.

Aliou Cisse’s charges will face the group winners of Group B while Netherlands will take on the runners up of the same group.

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