World Cup | Senegal, carried by its generation and united by its symbols, is finally launched


Until now, Senegal was an outsider in peril. The withdrawal of its leader Sadio Mané even before the start of the World Cup and a rather disappointing first match against the Netherlands (2-0) had frankly darkened the sky of a selection that we imagined on its way, just months after rising to the roof of Africa. Back to the wall before their decisive match against Ecuador on Tuesday, Aliou Cissé’s men have, this time, indeed found their pace by dominating one of the good surprises of this start to the tournament (2 -1).

For the Lions of Teranga, this third meeting was however a trap. Considering that Qatar would not perform miracles against the Netherlands, Kalidou Koulibaly’s teammates had to win to pass in front of the Tri. It was anything but a gift against a team that was among the most physically impressive in this tournament, and ready for the fight. So the African champions have also raised the cursor.

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Amazing in aggressiveness and impact, very sharp offensively, the Senegalese completely took Gustavo Alfaro’s men by surprise. « We knew it was going to be complicated against this very big teamconfided Pape Gueye at the microphone of bein Sportsafter the meeting. We also knew they would be looking for a draw…« . But Senegal had the assets to avoid the trap. It was still necessary to put them all into play.

With executives at the level, starting with captain and second scorer Kalidou Koulibaly, a dominant midfield and restless wingers, Senegal knew how to outsmart the Ecuadorian machine. « We have very good players, very good young peopleadded the Marseille midfielder. We are well surrounded and we work well with the staff. We get along well and it shows on the pitch.. »

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Out of chickens for the second time in its history, twenty years after the epic of the El-Hadji Diouf generation, Senegal can now move forward with its certainties. « It’s a generation of quality, which has a lot of characterconfided Aliou Cissé at the microphone of beIN. Eshe is ambitious, patriotic, fights for this jersey and respects it‘It obviously takes more than talent to aim high at the World Cup and African football is well placed to know that.

Victory dedicated to Sadio Mané

That’s good: the Teranga Lions radiate much more than just collective strength. The journey of 2002, the desire to honor the memory of Bruno Metsu – one of the coach’s mentors – and of Papa Bouba Diop, who died two years ago to the day, have further strengthened a group which now knows each other by heart. « We know our strengths“, underlined Pape Gueye. And these forces did not rest on a single man.

The absence of Sadio Mané, who could have been the knife stroke in Senegalese ambitions, has in fact become a compass. « This victory, personally, I would also like to dedicate it to a manadded Aliou Cissé. A man who is doing something extraordinary for the country but who, unfortunately, is not there. It’s Sadio Mane. »

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