On Tuesday at the Khalifa International Stadium, winger Ismaila Sarr kept cool to score a first-half penalty. Captain Kalidou Koulibaly added a second goal as Senegal beat Ecuador, 2-1, to advance to the round of 16. In the 44th minute, Sarr converted a penalty kick after being fouled. However, Ecuador, needing only a draw to advance to the knockout rounds, responded with a goal by Moises Caicedo.
Within three minutes, however, Koulibaly restored Senegal’s lead, and the Africans went on to win 2-1. With six points from their three games, the African champions finished second in Group A. One point behind the winners is the Netherlands. two points ahead of Ecuador, whose tournament started strong but ended in bitter disappointment.
Senegal beat Ecuador 2-1 thanks to captain Kalidou Koulibaly’s second goal
Senegal, accompanied by the steady rhythm of African drums, exerted tremendous effort and determination in the opening period, dominating a team that was content to sit back and try to absorb the pressure.
Idrissa Gana Gueye missed an early shot, and Boulaye Dia, the Senegalese striker, had a golden opportunity but skewed his shot wide of the far post. Goalkeeper Hernan Galindez stood motionless at a penalty kick from Sarr. He had been fouled by Ecuadorian defender Piero Hincapie. nestled into the bottom corner to seal the half’s outcome.
In the second half, Senegal was content to sit back and defend while Ecuador pressed for an equalizer. The goal came halfway through the first half when Felix Torres flicked on a corner. Caicedo was left alone at the back post for a simple finish. For Ecuador, he is the first goal scorer at the World Cup since Ivan Kaviedes in 2006.
Enter Valencia had scored all of the country’s goals before that. The large Ecuadorian fan base in the stands went wild in celebration, but their enthusiasm was quickly dampened when Senegal scored again. Koulibaly volleyed the ball in from six yards out after the South American team failed to clear a corner.