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World Cup

Senegal coach Cisse calls for ‘better concentration’ against Ecuador as Teranga Lions eye knockout round

22:32 EAT 25/11/2022
Coach Aliou Cisse of Senegal.
Senegal coach Aliou Cisse has urged his team to improve their focus in their final group game against Ecuador if they are to avoid early elimination.
  • Cisee wants to see improved focus in his team’s next match
  • Senegal coach not impressed by goal conceded against Qatar
  • The Teranga Lions face Ecuador in their final group fixture

WHAT HAPPENED? Cisse saw his team record its first win at the World Cup when they defeated hosts Qatar 3-1 on Friday and with the Netherlands and Ecuador playing out a 1-1 draw later on Friday, the Teranga Lions have a tough task to advance to the Round of 16. Only a victory against the South Americans will guarantee them a place in the knock-outs.

This is why Cisse feels his players will have to improve, especially defensively, if they are to get the result they need.

WHAT DID CISSE SAY? "Our concentration must be better as we could have avoided the goal that we conceded [against Qatar], but the Ecuador match will be different," Cisse said after the Qatar match.

"We started the second half well, went 2-0 up and then struggled a bit as Qatar was more aggressive and reduced the gap. But once again, we were better in transition and we managed to score the decisive third goal.

"The team did what I asked for. Teamwork is the basis. Yes, it is difficult to replace Sadio Mane, but in the end, this is a team sport.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: With hosts Qatar eliminated, Group A now sees the Netherlands and Ecuador, both on four points with the same goal difference after scoring three and conceding one, while Senegal have three points, having netted three goals and letting in as many.

It means both Ecuador, who face Senegal in their next match, and the Netherlands, who will take on Qatar, need only draws to advance to the Round of 16. In the unlikely event the Dutch lose to the hosts, it might come down to goal difference should Senegal and Ecuador draw, but if Louis van Gaal's side avoid defeat, then nothing but a victory will do for the Afcon winners.

WHAT’S NEXT? Senegal face Ecuador in their final group game on Tuesday, at the same time as the Qatar-Netherlands clash.