Equador 1-2 Senegal – Koulibaly’s Volley Seals Round of 16 Spot
Tuesday – Senegal have sealed their place in the World Cup last 16 after beating Ecuador 2-1 at the Khalifa International Stadium.
Kalidou Koulibaly’s excellent volley 20 minutes from time clinched a vital three points in this winner-takes-all encounter in Group A. The win means Senegal finishes second behind Netherlands in Group and will face the winners of Group B, which will be settled later on this evening, and it could still be any one of the four sides in the section.
It is just the second time that Senegal have made it through the group stage at the World Cup, with the last occasion coming in 2002, when they would go on to reach the quarter-final.
That did not affect the potency of their offensive display in the first half though, as they still created numerous chances, with Ecuador hardly threatening Edouard Mendy’s goal at all in the first half.
Senegal eventually took the lead shortly before half time, when Piero Hincapie barged Ismaila Sarr down in the penalty area, with French referee Clement Turpin subsequently pointing to the spot. Sarr picked himself up to take the penalty, and he calmly slotted it beyond Hernan Galindez into the bottom right-hand corner.
Ecuador replied in the second half. Felix Torres’s flick on from a corner found Moises Caicedo who was left all on his own at the back post with the most simple of tasks to slide the ball beyond Mendy for the equaliser.
Ecuador’s leveler could only last would only last for two minutes, as the African side retook the lead from a set piece of their own, after Enner Valencia failed to clear from Gueye’s dangerous delivery, giving Koulibaly the chance to volley home from close range.