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FIFA World Cup: Russia 2018

End of the Road for Africa in Russia as Senegal Exits World Cup

Senegal, though equal on points with Japan, are knocked out of the World Cup for having more yellow cards than the Asians.

It’s end of the road for Senegal and perhaps Africa’s interest in the ongoing Russia World Cup after no team from the continent reached the round of 16 with Senegal the latest to bow out.

Senegal on equal points with Japan –four each – are booted out on grounds they have more yellow cards than the Asians.

Cisse’s attacking line up looked predictable from the moment he announced Monaco’s Diao Balde Keita will get his first taste of the World Cup. So the 23-year-old starring on the left-wing to support Mbaye Niang and Sadio Mane up front with Ismaila dancing on the other wing, meant immense trouble for The Tricolors.

Keita wasn’t the only new starter as Lamine Gassama also featured at right back in a four-man defence with Cheikhou Kouyate given the nod ahead of Alfred Ndiaye to add touch of creativity to a midfield solidified by Everton’s Idrisa Gana Gueye.

senegal-vs-colombia2Senegal had a penalty appeal turned down by the referee. Colombian centre-back Sanchez tripped Liverpool’s Sadio Mane in the box but the VAR decided otherwise.

senegal-vs-colombia3Gaffer Jose Nestor Pekerman made a brave decision soon after hauling off James Rodriguez for Sevilla’s Luis Fernando Munriel in the 30th minute. The Real Madrid forward’s first reaction was one of fury but made way for the new entrant, walking his way to the Locker room. Not much followed to report about later as the first-half ended goalless.

senegal-vs-colombia4Resumption of proceedings saw Sadio Mane bundled half-way into the box. The 26-year-old skied his free-kick high and over.

senegal-vs-colombia5Munriel responded with keen interest moments on for the South Americans letting fly a huge effort which deflected off Sane. Former Manchester United’s Radamel Falcao headed the resultant corner kick past the crossbar.

Then Sane almost inadvertently netted into his post with his poor clearance but Khadim N’Diaye was positioned well to rise to the occasion.

As pressure piled in, The Lions defence weren’t much neat in defending set-pieces and it proved costly as Barcelona’s Yerry Fernando Mina Gonzalez out-jumped his marker to plant in a header to make it 1-0.

Cisse responded replacing Balde and throwing in Moussa Konate, Moussa Wague and Diafran Sakho as the Africans waged an all-out onslaught.

In the end, Senegal – Africa’s sole hopes in the showpiece – were reduced to forlorn figures as they exit on yellow cards.


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