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Captain Koulibaly leads Senegal into World Cup round of 16 – SABC News


Winger Ismail Sarr kept his cool to score a first-half penalty and captain Kalidou Koulibaly scored the second as Senegal beat Ecuador 2-1 at the Khalifa International Stadium on Tuesday to book a place in the last 16 of the World Cup.

Sar converted his penalty in the 44th minute, earning himself a spot-kick, but Ecuador, needing only a draw to advance to the knockout rounds, equalized through Moises Caicedo.

The joy of the South Americans lasted just three minutes when Koulibaly restored Senegal’s lead, which they were able to hold until the end of the match.

The African champions finished second in Group A with six points from three matches, one behind winners the Netherlands and two ahead of Ecuador, whose tournament showed much promise but ended in bitter disappointment.

African drums were constantly pounding in the stadium, as was the effort of Senegal, who dominated the first period against an opponent who was happy to sit back and try to ease the pressure.

Idriss Gana Gueye shot wide early on and Senegal striker Boulay Dia had a great opportunity when he had a good sight of goal but shot wide of the far post.

The decisive moment of the half came late on when Sarr was brought down by Ecuador defender Pierre Hincapie and rose to take a spot-kick, leaving goalkeeper Hernán Galindez stranded as the shot went into the bottom corner.

The tide of the game changed in the second period as Senegal were happy to sit back and a desperate Ecuador pressed for an equaliser.

It came midway through the half when Felix Torres took a corner and Caicedo was unmarked at the back post to ensure a simple finish. He is the first player other than Ener Valencia to score a World Cup goal for Ecuador since Ivan Caviedes in 2006.

Ecuador’s sizable support in the stands erupted in celebration, but that was soon quelled when Senegal struck again.

Senegal is the first African country to make it to the round of 16 in Qatar

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