In Russia 2018, Senegal created an unwanted piece of history. Tied on a number of criteria with Japan in Group H, Senegal were knocked out on the basis of disciplinary points... based on the yellow/red card count. Japan pipped them by the barest of margins.
In 2022 – competing as the reigning African champions – Senegal reached the Fifa World Cup knockouts for first time since 2002. The man who led Senegal on the pitch in 2002, was the coach of the side in both 2018 and 2022. Aliou Cisse cemented his place in the pantheon of African football legends as he oversaw their run to the round of 16 in Qatar.
And in another remarkable coincidence, the 20-year-old wait ended for Senegal exactly two years after one of their heroes of 2022, Papa Bouba Diop, died at 42. He had scored famously in a stunning win for Senegal against the then-defending champions France in the team’s opening match.
On Tuesday in Qatar, the winner came from the man wearing the captain’s armband, Kalidou Koulibaly. Senegal qualified for the knockout stages of the World Cup on Tuesday after beating Ecuador 2-1 and eliminating their opponents. Senegal leapfrogged Ecuador into second place and a spot in the last 16 thanks to goals first from Ismaila Sarr and then from skipper Koulibaly.
Here are some reactions to the African’s team’s memorable win: