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Senegal Responds Quickly to a Dramatic Goal to Reach Knockout Stage

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AL RAYYAN, Qatar — Senegal had been dominating all game, nevertheless it was in trouble within the 67th minute at Khalifa International Stadium on Tuesday night. Ecuador had just tied the sport with a dramatic goal, and a draw would have eliminated Senegal from the World Cup.

But even without its star scorer Sadio Mané, who has been out since before the 2022 World Cup with an injury, Senegal didn’t fear. In lower than three minutes, it answered when its captain, Kalidou Koulibaly, knocked in a rebound from a free kick for the go-ahead goal in a 2-1 victory over Ecuador that sent Senegal to the knockout stage because the runner-up in Group A.

“An incredible moment for me and the team,” said Koulibaly, 31.

No African nation advanced to the round of 16 within the 2018 tournament. Senegal, the Africa Cup of Nations victor, is the primary from the continent to achieve this on this tournament and maybe not the last, with Morocco and Ghana in good position going into their third games.

Senegal has now reached the knockout stage twice in three World Cup trips. On Sunday, it’s going to play England, which won Group B after beating Wales, 3-0, on Tuesday night.

“Hundreds of thousands of Senegalese were watching us, and we gave it our all,” midfielder Pape Gueye said in French, adding that the victory was “historic.”

A Temporary Guide to the 2022 World Cup

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What’s the World Cup? The quadrennial event pits one of the best national soccer teams against one another for the title of world champion. Here’s a primer to the 2022 men’s tournament:

Where is it being held? This 12 months’s host is Qatar, which in 2010 beat america and Japan to win the fitting to carry the tournament. Whether that was an honest competition stays in dispute.

When is it? The tournament opened on Nov. 20, when Qatar played Ecuador. Over the 2 weeks that follow, 4 games shall be played on most days. The tournament ends with the ultimate on Dec. 18.

Is a winter World Cup normal? No. The World Cup normally takes place in July. But in 2015, FIFA concluded that the summer temperatures in Qatar might need unpleasant consequences and agreed to maneuver the tournament to the relatively bearable months of November and December.

What number of teams are competing? Thirty-two. Qatar qualified mechanically because the host, and after years of matches, the opposite 31 teams earned the fitting to come back and play. Meet the teams here.

How does the tournament work? The 32 teams are divided into eight groups of 4. Within the opening stage, each team plays all the opposite teams in its group once. The highest two finishers in each group advance to the round of 16. After that, the World Cup is a straight knockout tournament.

How can I watch the World Cup within the U.S.? The tournament shall be broadcast on Fox and FS1 in English, and on Telemundo in Spanish. You’ll be able to livestream it on Peacock, or on streaming services that carry Fox and FS1. Here’s the best way to watch every match.

When will the games happen? Qatar is three hours ahead of London, eight hours ahead of Latest York and 11 hours ahead of Los Angeles. Meaning there shall be predawn kickoffs on the East Coast of america for some games, and midafternoon starts for 10 p.m. games in Qatar.

Got more questions? We’ve got more answers here.

The Netherlands, which beat the tournament’s host, Qatar, 2-0, on Tuesday, won a tricky Group A with 7 points — yet another point than Senegal. On Saturday, it’s going to face america, the second-place team in Group B after beating Iran, 1-0, on Tuesday. Cody Gakpo, a breakout star for the Netherlands, led his team along with his third goal of the World Cup, tied with France’s Kylian Mbappé and Ecuador’s Enner Valencia for essentially the most within the tournament.

Valencia, the Ecuadorean captain who began Tuesday despite leaving the previous game with a knee injury, couldn’t lead his team past a Senegal squad that controlled the sport when it comes to pacing and shots.

Senegal forward Ismaïla Sarr scored on a penalty shot within the forty fourth minute after he was fouled by Ecuador defender Piero Hincapié within the penalty box. Sarr stutter-stepped as he approached the ball and appeared to look to his left while kicking the ball right, past the frozen Ecuador goalkeeper, Hernán Galíndez.

As a part of his celebration, Sarr raced over to a piece with drumming Senegal fans, made a heart sign after which buried his face right into a teammate’s shoulder as they hugged.

But within the 67th minute, Ecuador answered and threw Senegal’s efforts into doubt. Off a corner kick, Ecuador’s Felix Torres out-jumped his opponents and redirected a ball toward teammate Moisés Caicedo. And with a flick, Caicedo sent the ball past Senegal goalkeeper Édouard Mendy. Senegal’s deflation didn’t last long.

Updated 

Nov. 29, 2022, 1:45 p.m. ET

“We didn’t want to depart this World Cup with any regrets,” Koulibaly said through an interpreter after the sport. He added later: “Thank God I used to be in on that and putting it behind the online.”

Koulibaly was in the fitting place at the fitting time. After a Senegal free kick was rebounded by Ecuador toward Koulibaly within the penalty box, he chipped the ball into the goal for what turned out to be the game-winner within the seventieth minute. Koulibaly, a defender, later noted that it was his first goal in 67 games representing Senegal in international play. From the sidelines, Senegal Coach Aliou Cissé rejoiced.

“We knew that a draw wasn’t enough,” he said through an interpreter. “The indisputable fact that he could rating the goal was exhilarating. Soccer is an emotional game.”

Senegal last reached the knockout stage in 2002, when Cissé was the captain of the team. It knocked off Sweden within the round of 16 but lost to Turkey within the quarterfinals.

Koulibaly said “two thirds of the world doubted we’d qualify” after losing Mané to injury. Now, Koulibaly said the mission was to “go so far as we will.”

He said the team had been inspired by several people, including the Senegal soccer legend Papa Bouba Diop, who died two years ago, and Mané, who Koulibaly said had sent the team a message of support before the sport.

“We are able to do something good,” Koulibaly said. “We would like to put in writing our story about Senegal football.”

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