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2022 World Cup: Senegal's Koulibaly produced movement of a striker to score against Ecuador - Ekoku

7:26 AM GMT 30/11/2022
Kalidou Koulibaly World Cup 2022
Former Nigeria international Efan Ekoku has hailed Kalidou Koulibaly for his finish of a real marksman after Senegal defeated Ecuador 2-1 on Tuesday.
  • Koulibaly scored Senegal winner against Ecuador
  • Senegal finished second to reach Round of 16
  • Will face England in their next assignment

WHAT HAPPENED? In the Group A fixture at Khalifa International Stadium, the Lions of Teranga took the lead when Ismaila Sarr was fouled inside the box and he stepped up to send Ecuador goalkeeper Hernan Galindez the wrong way with his penalty.

Ecuador levelled matters through Moises Caicedo but three minutes later, Senegal retook the lead when the 31-year-old Koulibaly smashed home. From a free-kick, the ball found the unmarked Koulibaly, who unleashed a right-footed effort past Galindez.

The 55-year-old Ekoku, who played for Premier League outfit Norwich City and Nigeria's Super Eagles, has hailed Koulibaly's composure to earn Senegal the much-needed victory.

WHAT HE SAID: "The ball beats five or six players, you just have to react. Kalidou [Koulibaly] with the movement of a striker and the finish of a real marksman," Ekoku told SuperSport TV as quoted by allnigeriasoccer, adding: "He didn't slash out of the ball, he coolly side-footed it."

He added: "All I can say is that you're never more vulnerable than when you just scored. But just as Senegal were culpable in being a little absent-minded defensively, equally so Ecuador."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Koulibaly's goal enabled Senegal to reach the knockout stage of the World Cup for the first time in 20 years.

The Lions of Teranga finished second in their group with six points, while the Netherlands took the top spot after amassing seven points.

WHAT NEXT FOR KOULIBALY? The Chelsea defender will hope to keep his superb form when Senegal take on England in the Round of 16 fixture at Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday.