Ismaila Sarr of Senegal scores his team’s first goal from a penalty during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group A match between Ecuador and Senegal at the Khalifa International Stadium on November 29, 2022, in Doha, Qatar. | Image Credit: Getty Images
Ismaila Sarr’s 44th-minute penalty gave Senegal a 1-0 halftime lead against Ecuador in their decisive Group A match that will see one of them reach the knockout stage of the World Cup on Tuesday.
Senegal must win to qualify but will remain in contention if they draw and Qatar beat the Netherlands in another Group A match. Ecuador must win or draw to progress but will remain in contention if they lose and Qatar upset the Dutch, leading 1-0 at halftime.
Valencia shrugged off the injury
Ecuador’s veteran striker Enner Valencia has recovered enough from a knee strain to make Gustavo Alfaro’s starting lineup on Tuesday against Senegal in a boost to the South Americans’ chances of qualifying from World Cup Group A .
Valencia, the 33-year-old captain, scored three goals in Ecuador’s good start to the tournament – a win and a draw – but left the field injured at the end of the first two games.
Senegalese players inspect the pitch before the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group A match between Ecuador and Senegal at the Khalifa International Stadium on November 29, 2022, in Doha, Qatar. | Image Credit: Getty Images
Senegal coach Aliou Cisse bolstered his midfield with the inclusion of Pathe Ciss in place of striker Famara Diedhiou, leaving Boulaye Dia as the lone center forward at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.
With defensive midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate still injured, Ciss added the steel to the middle of the park. Iliman Ndiaye and Ismaila Sarr provided width in attack without Sadio Mane, whose injury absence in Qatar dealt a major blow to their last-16 chances.
Hernan Galindez; Angelo Preciado, Felix Torres, Piero Hincapie, Pervis Estupinan; Gonzalo Plata, Moises Caicedo, Carlos Gruezo, Alan Franco; Michael Estrada, Enner Valencia (captain)
Coach: Gustavo Alfaro (ARG)
Edouard Mendy; Youssouf Sabaly, Kalidou Koulibaly (capt), Abdou Diallo, Ismail Jakobs; Idrissa Gana Gueye, Pape Gueye, Pathe Ciss; Iliman Ndiaye, Boulaye Dia, Ismaila Sarr.