Since the absence of Bayern Munich striker Sadió Mané became known, the Northwest African team has gone from being the second favorite in Group A to third in the betting houses and in the office dicks. Although Qatar was the local and Ecuador arrived with hope and as one of the teams with the lowest average age, the ‘Lions of Teranga’ had just been champions in the African Cup of Nations and that just cannot be erased.
However, that of its greatest star was not a minor fact, so all the others, except the Netherlands, which by history and shirt had to classify – and did so – began to cheer him up.
The team proved not to be sadio-dependent. In a combination of individual hierarchy, with footballers in the best leagues in the world and an approach at the level of those of great strategists, they have advanced to the round of 16 as in 2002, when we all went to see Zidane’s France and ended up seeing to Senegal from El Hadji Diouf, Papa Bouba Diop and their current coach, Aliou Cissé.
You or us: the football dilemma
the match against Ecuador he was arming No warrior goes out into the arena with all weapons in hand. He is measuring, he crouches, he waits. Ecuador was not involved but it was lost, especially on the wings, where they normally become strong and now they failed. More Precious than Estupiñán.
The advantage came after Ismaila Sarr was brought down on the pitch at the Khalifa International Stadium by Piero Hincapie. Doubtful penalty, penalty, if you will. But Clément Turpin, the referee, whistled with all the authority in the world, and it was Sarr himself who took the lead and sent her to save to make it 1-0.
For the second half there was no margin of error for the South Americans. . And although there have been problems off the field, such as the Byron Castillo case, many of us, in front of the TV, wanted to see the turn of Gustavo Alfaro’s men. For this reason, at minute 67, after a corner kick and a combed ball, Moisés Caicedo made it 1-1. Of course, the stories almost always have a climax and twist before the end of the plot: although we thought it could have been that, it ended up being for Senegal.
In front we had two physical teams, playing to the limit of human capacity, showing why the World Cup is the elite of intensity and mastery of the stress to which a body and mind are subjected for 90 minutes, and now 10 more – on average – by arrangement of Pierluigi Collina.
Senegal He had gone through all the stages that make up a character: his ordinary world was the one in which, knowing that they were champions of the continent and having their best player at the top, their options in the tournament were different.
. Then, although it has not been made public, it is probable that the footballers have fallen into confusion and even a certain loss of faith, but the meeting with their teacher, a DT who arrived with everything more than clear, could make them believe when few people did.
The outcome of the first act
To complete half of that journey that is still ongoing, leaders such as Chelsea goalkeeper Édouard Mendy or the captain and defender, also of the English team, Kalidou Koulibaly, were up to the task from the first game.
Although it is true that in the case of Mendy, the performance went up after mistakes that cost him the match against the Netherlands, the central back stands out both in his game and in his attitude, pushing players who have become valuable like the Gueyé, Ismaila Sarr or the talented PSV midfielder, Iliman Ndiaye.
Today, after Caicedo’s draw, just a few minutes later, Koulibaly would crown his performance with the goal that has given the North West African team the chance to play in the round of 16.
When the final whistle sounded, we saw two faces that are similar so that they differ emotionally: on the one hand, the sadness and frustration of having been left out of Ecuador moved more than one person, although they did not have the burden of knowing that here Everything is over, but that comforting idea of feeling that with this generation it is just beginning. Secondly, .
I have worked in the news industry for over 10 years. I have a keen interest in sports and have written for many different publications. I am currently working as an author at 24 News Recorder. I cover mostly sports news but also write about other topics such as current affairs and politics. I have a strong interest in social media and how it can be used to engage with audiences.