Despite the absence of key player and star Sadio Mane, Senegal managed to qualify to the Round of 16 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The African side won 2-1 in the deciding match against Ecuador in the last game of the group stage. Senegal will play against the winner of Group B while Netherlands won the same group after beating Qatar 2-0 and will play against Group B's runner up. Chelsea's defender Kalidou Koulibaly scored the deciding goal of the match, only a few minutes after Ecuador were able to equalize in the second half of the game.
Senegal had a strong start in the first half and played much better soccer than Ecuador. The African team had two clear chances with Idrissa Gueye's and Boulaye Dia but were not able to open the scoring. Later on, Ecuador's defender Piero Hincapie's foul on Ismaila Sarr was considered enough to concede a penalty. The same Sarr went on the ball and scored the opener before the end of the first half.
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The second part of the game started in a much better way for the South American team. Coach Alfaro decided to replace Alan Franco and Carlos Gruezo with Jose Cifuentes and Jeremy Sarmiento. This move definitely gave much better results on the pitch and Ecuador scored the equalizer through Moises Caicedo. However, it didn't last long. Three minutes later Kalidou Koulibaly took advantage of a defensive mistake on a free kick and scored the winning goal for Senegal. Twenty years after the last time, Senegal will play in the Round of 16 of the World Cup. The match will be played on Sunday at 2 p.m. (FS1/Telemundo).