Senegal scored two goals in all but one of their qualifying matches, which helped them top their group.
Senegal World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide
Senegal have been eliminated from the 2018 World Cup.
Senegal vs Colombia (28th June) Match Report
Senegal Starting XI: 16 Khadim N’Diaye, 3 Kalidou Koulibaly, 5 Idrissa Gueye, 6 Salif Sane, 8 Cheikh Kouyate, 10 Sadio Mane, 12 Youssouf Sabaly (22 Moussa Wague 74), 18 Ismaila Sarr, 19 M’Baye Niang (15 Diafra Sakho 86), 20 Keita Balde (14 Moussa Kounate 80), 21 Lamine Gassama
Colombia Starting XI: 1 David Ospina, 4 Santiago Arias, 6 Carlos Sanchez, 9 Radamel Falcao (Miguel Borja 89), 10 James Rodriguez (14 Luis Muriel 31), 11 Juan Cuadrado, 13 Yerry Mina, 15 Mateus Uribe (15 Jefferson Lerma 83), 17 Johan Mojica, 20 Juan Quintero, 23 Davinson Sanchez
Senegal 0 Colombia 1
Colombia: Mina 74
Colombia qualified for the last 16 as group winner after Yerry Mina’s headed goal was enough to beat Senegal, who became the first team in World Cup history to be knocked out on fairplay rules.
Senegal were desperately unlucky to exit. Level with Japan on points, goal difference and goals scored, their higher yellow card count cost them dearly.
They were the brighter team against Colombia, though they rightly had a penalty appeal rejected by VAR after Davinson Sanchez’s challenge on Sadio Mane.
Colombia, with Radamel Falcao isolated and unfit James Rodriguez taken off after half an hour, struggled to get a foothold in the game. Their goal, from a corner, was their only attempt on target in the game.
Matter of fact
Colombia did not have a single touch in the opposition area during the first half.
Senegal were trying to make a substitution as the corner was taken for Colombia’s goal. Moussa Wague replaced Youssouf Sabaly but did not make it to the penalty area in time to join the defence.
Possession (%): 43/57
Goal attempts: 8/4
Attempts on target: 4/1
Pass accuracy (%): 78/83
Distance covered (km): 97/100
Senegal vs Japan (24th June) Match Report
Senegal Starting XI: 16 Khadim N’Diaye, 3 Kalidou Koulibaly, 5 Idrissa Gueye , 6 Salif Sane, 10 Sadio Mane, 12 Youssouf Sabaly, 13 Alfred N’Diaye (8 Cheikhou Kouyate 65), 17 Badou N’Diaye (11 Cheikh N’Doye 81), 18 Ismaila Sarr, 19 M’Baye Niang (9 Mame Diouf 86), 22 Moussa Wague
Japan Starting XI: 1 Eiji Kawashima, 3 Gen Shoji, 5 Yuto Nagatomo, 7 Gaku Shibasaki, 8 Genki Haraguchi (9 Shiunji Okazaki 75), 10 Shinji Kagawa (4 Keisuke Honsa 72), 14 Takeshi Inui (11 Takeshi Usami 87), 15 Yuya Osako, 17 Makoto Hasebe, 19 Hikori Sakai, 22 Maya Yoshida
Japan 2 Senegal 2
Japan: Inui 34, Honda 71
Senegal: Mane 11, Wague 78
Japan and Senegal shared the spoils after a tight contest saw both sides show both their attacking qualities and defensive frailties.
Senegal made a strong start and took the lead through Sadio Mane but their concentration levels dropped and Takeshi Inui equalised.
Japan were the better team in the second half but could not take advantage: Yuya Osako missed an open goal and Inui hit the crossbar. They were punished when Senegal scored a second goal through Moussa Wague but poor goalkeeping allowed Japan to grab a second equaliser
Matter of fact
Keisuke Honda became the first Japanese player to score at three World Cups.
For all the talk of the attacking threat pose by Sadio Mane, Senegal’s best attacks came from their full-backs. Youssouf Sabaly and Moussa Wague combined for Senegal’s second goal, when Wague became the youngest African goalscorer at a World Cup.
Possession (%): 53/47
Goal attempts: 7/13
Attempts on target: 2/5
Pass accuracy (%): 83/79
Distance covered (km): 105/102
Senegal vs Poland (19th June) Match Report
Sadio Mane and Senegal start their World Cup off against Robert Lewandowski and Poland. Match preview here.
Senegal Starting XI: 16 Khadim N’diaye, 3 Khalidou Koulibaly, 5 Idrissa Gueye, 6 Salif Sane, 9 Mame Diouf (11 Cheikh N’doye 62), 10 Sadio Mane, 12 Youssouf Sabaly, 13 Alfred N’diaye (8 Cheikhou Kouyate 88), 18 Ismaila Sarr, 19 M’baye Niang (14 Moussa Konate 76), 22 Moussa Wague
Poland Starting XI: 1 Wojciech Szczesny, 2 Michal Pazdan, 4 Thiago Cionek, 7 Arkadiusz Milik (23 Dawid Kownacki 73), 9 Robert Lewandowski, 10 Grzegorz Krychowiak, 11 Kamil Grosicki, 13 Maciej Rybus, 16 Jakob Blaszczykowski (5 Jan Bednarek 46), 19 Piotr Zielinski, 20 Lukasz Piszczek (18 Bartosz Bereszynski 83)
Poland 1 Senegal 2
Poland: Krychowiak 86
Senegal: Cionek 38og, Niasse 61
Sixteen years on from their last World Cup appearance, Senegal once again sprung a surprise, beating a disappointing Polish side, albeit with a large dose of controversy for the winning goal.
Senegal made a lively start, enjoying a lot of possession without threatening Poland’s goal. But their forward-thinking approach, with Liverpool’s Sadio Mane prompting from midfield, was rewarded by the opening goal from Idrissa Gueye, whose shot deflected off a Polish defender.
Poland’s defence had been weakened by the absence of the injured Kamil Glik and their reshuffled defence struggled to cope. Robert Lewandowski tried to lead a Polish fightback in the second half but a calamitous second goal killed off Polish hopes.
Krychowiak partly atoned for a crucial error by heading Poland back into the game with minutes remaining. But Senegal held out for Africa’s first victory of the tournament.
Matter of fact
Jakub Blaszczykowski made his 100th appearance for Poland but was forced off by injury at half-time.
Poland were unhappy at Senegal’s second and winning goal. Niang was being waived back on the pitch by the referee and fourth official after treatment for injury when Krychowiak played the ball back without noticing Niang’s re-appearance on the pitch. The Senegalese forward was able to run the ball into an empty net.
Possession (%): 59/41
Goal attempts: 10/8
Attempts on target: 5/4
Pass accuracy (%): 84/81
Distance covered (km): 110/107
Senegal World Cup Guide
Senegal are back at the World Cup for a second time, after becoming only the second African country to reach the quarter-finals when Japan and South Korea co-hosted in 2002. Drawing his side from a large number of players with clubs in Europe, coach Aliou Cisse – who was captain of the 2002 team – has put together a formidable squad.
Related: 10 Biggest World Cup Shocks
Key Moments in Qualifying
Two goals down after an hour of the first leg of their preliminary round tie in Madagascar, Senegal are flirting with shock elimination until they come back to draw the game and then win 5-2 on aggregate.
A 2-1 loss in South Africa sees Senegal submit a protest to FIFA over the officiating as Ghanaian ref Joseph Lamptey awards the hosts a dubious penalty.
Lamptey is found to have manipulated the South Africa result and is banned for life.
After home and away draws against Burkina Faso, FIFA order the disputed South Africa game from November 2016 to be replayed.
Back in South Africa, Sadio Mane is the talisman as Senegal win the replayed match 2-0 and secure qualification with a game to spare.
Senegal World Cup Group
Senegal are in Group H alongside Poland, Colombia and Japan.
Senegal World Cup Friendlies
On the 23rd and 27th of March Senegal drew with Uzbekistan and Bosnia-Herzegovina. They then drew against Luxembourg on the 31st of May. In their penultimate warm-up game they lost to Croatia and finally they beat South Korea on the 11th.
- 23rd March – Uzbekistan (drew 1-1)
- 27th March – Bosnia-Herzegovina (drew 0-0)
- 31st May – Luxembourg (drew 0-0)
- 8th June – Croatia (lost 2-1)
- 11th June – South Korea (won 2-0)
Senegal World Cup Fixtures
Aliou Cisse, age 41 (24.03.76)
Took over from Alain Giresse as coach in March 2015, having been captain of the team for Senegal’s previous World Cup appearance. After finishing his playing career, he went home to work with the Senegal Football Federation and was on the staff of the under-23 side that participated at the men’s football tournament at the London Olympics.
Sadio Mane and Kalidou Koulibaly are among the best African players in Europe and are crucial to the Senegal cause. Koulibaly controls the defence line while Mane lifts the side to a higher level in attack.
Idrissa Gueye and Cheikhou Kouyate are midfielders who provide the back bone of the team.
Mame Biriam Diouf lost his place through injury in the middle of the year and has not been recalled since.
Former French under-21 international Mbaye Niang has now won three caps for Senegal.
Senegal World Cup Squad
Final World Cup Squad –
GOALKEEPERS: Khadim Ndiaye (Horoya AC), Abdoulaye Diallo (Rennes), Alfred Gomis (Torino)
DEFENDERS: Kara Mbodji (Anderlecht), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli), Moussa Wague (Eupen), Saliou Cisse (Angers), Youssouf Sabaly (Bordeaux), Lamine Gassama (Alanyaspor), Armand Traore (Nottingham Forest), Salif Sane (Hannover 96)
FORWARDS: Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Diao Balde Keita (Monaco), Ismaila Sarr (Rennes), Diafra Sakho (Rennes), Moussa Konate (Amiens), Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke), Mbaye Niang (AC Milan)
Senegal World Cup Injuries
Saliou Cisse is out of the World Cup.
The Unanswered Questions
Will Sadio Mane’s hamstring hold out in the finals?
If it does not, it will be a big blow to Senegal. However, Liverpool have had a physio travelling with the striker for several recent internationals in Africa to help him to keep properly in shape.
Can Senegal upset some big names, as they did in 2002?
They are the one African side with the potential to shake things up in Russia in much the same way they did in Seoul, when they beat France before going on to reach the quarter-finals.
Will any locally-based players make Aliou Cisse’s squad?
Last time Senegal went to the World Cup, 21 of the 23-man squad were based at French clubs, with one from a Moroccan side and the other at Dakar-based Jeanne d’Arc. This time the players are spread out across Europe, the Middle East and even the USA, but there are no candidates from the domestic league.
Will the team’s physical strength be an advantage?
While the pace and finishing prowess of Sadio Mane is Senegal’s biggest threat, they also scored several goals from set-pieces in the qualifying campaign and will look to capitalise on such situations again. They will flood the opposing penalty area at every opportunity and try to capitalise on their height and strength.
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