Senegal - Sarr, Koulibaly and Gueye

Ecuador 1-2 Senegal: Africa’s Champions Progress as Sarr Steps into Mane’s Shoes

The Teranga Lions defeated Ecuador 2-1 in their final Group A game on Tuesday to advance to the knockout stages for only the second time in their history.

As reported by Goal, Ismaila Sarr’s penalty was cancelled out by Moses Caicedo, but Kalidou Koulibaly’s magnificent reaction and powerful finish from a corner two and a half minutes later ensured an immediate response from Africa’s champions.

Sarr Delivers Quality

As well as opening the scoring from the spot, Sarr was one of Senegal’s main threats during the first half.

Instead of featuring on the right flank, he moved across to the left—taking the absent Sadio Mane’s role—and built on his encouraging displays to date with a vibrant showing.

Even before the penalty, he’d proved effective cutting in from the right—sending a dangerous ball over in the 22nd minute—and it was clear that Ecuador were struggling to deal with his pace and movement even before he was felled in the box.

His finish from the spot was exceptionally cool given the pressure of the occasion, while Sarr later represented a valuable outball for the Lions during the second period.

Africa Break World Cup Record

Senegal’s triumph over Ecuador means that Africa have now won four matches at the ongoing World Cup—a record for the continent in the group stage of the tournament.

In each of the last six tournaments, African teams won exactly three matches in each collective group stage campaign—before that, they’d never won more than two.

Already this year, however, with four more group matches to play, Africa have won four matches, with Senegal’s pair of triumphs over Qatar and Ecuador coupled with Morocco’s success against Belgium and Ghana’s victory over South Korea.

Which other records can African teams break in Qatar?

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