Senegal became the first African side to reach the Round of 16 in the 2022 FIFA World Cup as they overpowered and thus also eliminated Ecuador from the competition in Qatar on Tuesday.

Although Ecuador just needed a draw for progressing through the knockout rounds, it was Senegal who came out determined and with a clear plan to win.

Ismaila Sarr opened the account for Senegal after scoring from a penalty in the 44th minute. The penalty was awarded after Ecuador defender Piero Hincapie’s challenge against him.

After the halftime, the game saw a frantic passage of play as two goals were scored in just three minutes.

First, it was Ecuador’s Moises Caicedo who produced the equalizer for his side as he was able to head a corner kick while jumping high in a crowded box.

But just three minutes later, Kaliduo Koulibaly put Senegal again in front. It was again a spot kick. After an Ecuador player committed a foul, Idrissa Gueye delivered a curling delivery into the box. The ball bounced off a defender’s shoulder right in the path of Koulibaly who scored the decisive goal.

In this way, Senegal became the first African nation to defeat any tem from South America since Cameroon’s 2-1 victory against Columbia in 1990.

On the hand, Ecuador have failed to progress further than the group stage for the third time after their four appearances in the FIFA World Cup.

Meanwhile, Senegal came second in Group A and will thus meet Group B winners England in the next round.

Much has been made of the absence of Senegal talisman Sadio Mane from this tournament through injury but they have found goals from elsewhere, their five thus far in Qatar all coming from different players.


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