Koulibaly takes Senegal to last 16

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Kalidou Koulibaly

Reigning African champions Senegal booked a spot in the Round of 16, after edging Ecuador 2-1 at the Khalifa International Stadium on Tuesday.

Captain Kalidou Koulibaly’s second-half strike proved crucial for the Teranga Lions, as they secured second place in Group A with six points.

Netherlands topped the group with seven points, while Ecuador was third with four points. Hosts Qatar finished bottom of the group with no points.

Ismaila Sarr struck Senegal in front with a 44th minute penalty, but Ecuador’s Caicedo pulled the score level in the 67th minute.

But the South Americans, who needed just a draw to qualify for the next round, couldn’t hold on after Koulibally struck his side in front with a volley from close range.

The Senegalese held onto their solitary lead as they became the first African country to book a spot in the last 16, with the likes of Ghana and Morocco still in contention for a spot in the knockout rounds.

Tunisia and Cameroon also have slim chances of qualifying to the next round.

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