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FIFA WC: Senegal storm into round of 16 for first time since 2002, down Ecuador 2-1
Al Rayyan: Senegal stormed into the round of 16 stage of the FIFA World Cup after a 2-1 win over Ecuador in their Group A match at Khalifa International Stadium on Tuesday.
Senegal finishes the Group stage with a total of six points and two wins and a loss under their belt. Ecuador finishes at the third position in the points table with four points, with a win, loss and draw. Starting off, Idrissa Gueye almost gave Senegal a lead two minutes into the game but his shot was too wide. Senegal lost a golden chance to gain a lead.
In the coming minutes, Senegal missed another chance for scoring by Youssouf Sabaly. But they still played well to put Ecuador's defence under pressure and kept finding gaps.
Senegal kept going with some remarkable gameplay but Galindez proved to be a headache for them as he made some good saves.
Senegal continued to enjoy a great deal of possession but faced trouble in getting the ball past the keeper.
But the attackers finally got their moment when a penalty in the 44th minute was converted into a goal by Ismaila Sarr that gave Senegal a 1-0 lead in a highly-decisive match in the first half.
Ecuador made a couple of substitutions at the start of the second half. Sarmiento and Cifuentes replaced Franco and Gruezo.
Ecuador's perseverance paid off big time as in the 67th minute, Moises Caicedo turned home a flick by Felix Torres at the far post to make things even.
Ennar Valencia led side's happiness was short-lived as the side failed to clear a diagonal free kick from Idrissa and Kalidou Koulibaly's powerful volley made the scoreline 2-1 in favour of Senegal, who looked on track to earn their knockout stage qualification.
Boulaye Dia almost managed to get the third for Senegal, but his kick went wide of Hernan Galindez near the post.
Valencia's side was refused a freekick after he was blocked by Abdou Diallo.
At the blowing of full-time whistle, the scoreline read 2-1 in favour of Senegal, who reached the round of 16 for the first time since the 2002 edition of the tournament. (ANI)