Senegal advanced to the round of 16 after defeating Ecuador 2-1. The Victory sees Senegal move up to second in Group A, whilst Ecuador’s World Cup journey ends, after they drop to third in the group.
Kalidou Koulibaly scored the decisive goal, finishing brilliantly, just three minutes after Moisés Caicedo equalised in the 67th minute.
Ismaïla Sarr is succeding in place of Sadio Mané
After Sadio Mané was forced to withdraw from the Senegal World Cup squad, it felt like their hopes of qualifying from the group were dealt a major blow. However, Ismaïla Sarr has stepped up to fill the void and he will likely be the vital cog in what could be a major success story for Senegal. After slotting home the opener from the penalty stop, his goal was a reward for his creative endeavour shown throughout the first half. His nimble, agile feet paired with his electrifying pace caused problems for Ecuador throughout the first-half and he was in fact the player who won the penalty.
Jeremy Sarmiento could be a future star
Despite being just 20-years-old, Sarmiento was undoubtedly Ecuador’s main outlet against Senegal on Tuesday. He came on as a second-half substitute and he quickly stamped his authority on the game by committing defenders and creating opportunities for his forwards. It was refreshing to watch the youngster’s fearless nature on the pitch as he displayed moments of flair with his quick feet. Certainly a player to watch during his time with Brighton & Hove Albion and Ecuador.
Idrissa Gueye could be Senegal’s most important player
At 33-years-old you’d think there would be signs of slowing down, but Idrissa Gueye seamlessly covered virtually every blade of grass whilst also providing an attacking threat. Koulibaly’s winner came from Gueye’s delicious curling set-piece into the box which shows his ability to provide an outlet for Senegal going forwards as well as his natural ability and athleticism to intercept play. Unfortunately for Gueye and Senegal, he will be suspended for the round of 16 fixture after picking up his second booking of the tournament.
Mark Marston | GWFN