Senegal Advances to Round of 16 With 2-1 Victory Over Ecuador

Senegal Advances to Round of 16 With 2-1 Victory Over Ecuador originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Fair play isn’t going to keep Senegal out of the World Cup knockout stage this time.

Four years after being eliminated on a FIFA tiebreaker, the team punched its ticket to the round of 16 in 2022 with a 2-1 victory against Ecuador at Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar. Senegal becomes the first team from Africa to move on in the tournament and fifth overall.

Senegal entered the day third in the Group A standings with three points, trailing the Netherlands and Ecuador, who both had four points. A draw or loss would have put an end to Senegal’s 2022 journey, and it instead beat Ecuador behind goals from Ismaïla Sarr and captain Kalidou Koulibaly.

Sarr got the match’s first goal in the 44th minute on a penalty that he drew against Ecuador’s Piero Hincapié. Ecuador, which would have advanced in the tournament with a tie against Senegal, got an equalizer in the 67th minute from Moisés Caicedo thanks to some poor defending on a corner kick.

Koulibaly didn’t wait long to provide a counter, though. The Chelsea defender got his first international goal with Senegal three minutes after Caicedo scored, putting the score at its eventual 2-1 final.

Senegal is in the knockout stage for the second time in its three World Cup appearances. The team reached the quarterfinals in its first World Cup in 2002 and bowed out in the group stage at the 2018 event due to FIFA’s fair play rule.

When is Senegal’s next World Cup game?

Next up for Senegal is a match at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, and the team will find out its opponent in a matter of hours.

As the second-place team in Group A, Senegal will play the winner of Group B in the round of 16.

Who could Senegal play in the knockout stage?

Group B features the United States men’s national team, England, Iran and Wales with England in the lead through two matches.

The Group B runner-up will face the Netherlands, which clinched the top spot in Group A with a 2-0 victory against Qatar on Tuesday.

How did Ecuador do at the 2022 FIFA World Cup?

Ecuador’s results got progressively worse throughout the group stage. The team kicked off the tournament with a 2-0 win over Qatar, followed the up with a 1-1 draw against the Netherlands and closed it out with a disappointing 2-1 loss to Senegal.

Enner Valencia, Ecuador’s all-time leading goalscorer, is tied in the World Cup Golden Boot race with three goals in his first two matches. Before Caicedo’s tally on Tuesday, Valencia had scored Ecuador’s last six goals on the World Cup stage.

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