Senegal to go for the jugular against Ecuador
Coach Cissé eyes last-16 berth
Senegal coach Aliou Cissé said he needed to return to the drawing board to find a way to beat Ecuador in his side’s last game in Group A at the World Cup tomorrow to have a chance of progressing to the last 16.
Senegal followed their 2-0 defeat against the Netherlands in their opening match with a 3-1 win against Qatar to restore their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stage of the tournament.
“We have to think about the appropriate approach to the last match. We need to win to have a chance to qualify for the last 16,” Cissé said.
“Our concentration must be better as we could have avoided the goal that we conceded [against Qatar], but the Ecuador match will be different.”
Cissé said his team could have finished the game against the hosts with a bigger win margin.
“We started the second half well, went 2-0 up and then struggled a bit as Qatar were more aggressive and reduced the gap. But once again we were better in transition and we managed to score the decisive third goal.”
Cissé said the most important thing for him was the team’s collective performance and the adjustments to the starting line-up.
“The team did what I asked for. Teamwork is the basis. Yes, it is difficult to replace [injured Bayern Munich star] Sadio Mané, but in the end, this is a team sport.”
Senegal may find themselves in a situation similar to the one at Russia 2018, when they were eliminated from the group stage on fair play points. Senegal’s players had received six yellow cards vs Japan’s four, and the Asian team had snatched second place behind Poland.
Senegal players have received five yellow cards in two matches.
“I didn’t ask the players to play carefully, the yellow cards are the decision of the referees,” Cissé said. –Reuters*