Chelsea In Qatar – Ecuador v Senegal
Ecuador 0 – 0 Senegal
(Group A, Khalifa International Stadium, 29/11/2022)
The Netherlands just need a draw to qualify and are expected to go through with a win in their final game with Qatar, who are yet to get a point in Group A. Either of the two teams in this game can progress, Ecuador with a draw and Senegal who need a win.
Edouard Mendy and Kalidou Koulibaly from Chelsea start for Senegal.
Almost half hour played and most of the action is in the Ecuador half, Senegal looking the much better side and looking the most likely to score. Ecuador struggling to get anything going.
Ecuador are beginning to get into the game now, it’s taken 35 mins but they are now starting to show some progress into the Senegal half. Not the most exciting game so far, but Senegal need to score so hope for a bit more attacking play in the second half.
42 mins and Senegal get a penalty as Sarr gets fouled in the box, clumsy tackle by the Ecuador defender and Sarr gets up to take the kick.
44 mins GOAL! and it’s the Watford striker Ismaila Sarr who puts the spot kick to the keeper’s left, low and hard. The lead is just about deserved with the pressure in this first half, now Ecuador need to come out, expect a few chances after the break.
6 mins of additional time, as we hit the 45 minute mark with Senegal going forward, they have the momentum now and want to make it two.
3 minutes into extra time and it’s handbags down by the corner flag, bit of a shove and retaliation but I’ve had more damage from the wind!
Halftime, and as it stands Senegal and the Netherlands are going through in Group A and could meet England if they win their group in the game v Wales later on this evening. Can Ecuador alter things in the second period to change this around?
Second half under way and two substitutions by Ecuador, they have to score to stay in the World Cup.
Ecuador getting more and more into the game now, the substitutions have made a difference, just a lack of quality when they get close to the Senegal goal.
57 mins and a cross comes in from Ecuador but the header goes just wide, Senegal seem to just be sitting back and taking the pressure, can they hold out? Mendy hasn’t had a lot to do so far in the Senegal goal.
59 mins and Sarr gets tackled from behind, Senegal have a free kick in a dangerous position on the left but comes to nothing as the Ecuador defence clears.
62 mins and a challenge off the ball, but the referee doesn’t see it as a foul and the game goes on.
65 mins and a foul on Plata, this time Ecuador have a free kick in a good position, can they make it count? Cleared once again and it’s a corner.
67 mins GOAL! Ecuador equalise and Mendy is picking the ball out of the net after the Brighton striker Caicedo taps in from close range. Game on once again, now it’s Ecuador going through.
69 mins GOAL! Captain Koulibaly the Chelsea defender pops up in the Ecuador box from a free kick and volleys Senegal back into the lead just two and a half minutes after conceding up the other end. This is some game now, who knows which way this is going to end up?
75 mins and Senegal make some substitutions, looks like they are going to sit back and try and ride out the last 15 minutes. Ecuador attack, but the ball goes straight to Mendy.
76 mins and Sarr goes down in the box, referee waives away the penalty claims, it’s a corner to Senegal. Poor delivery and cleared. Back in for another corner. Senegal in no hurry to take it. Cleared and goes all the way back to the Senegal keeper Mendy.
The Netherlands look like they are going through as Group A winners, on 84 minutes they are two up against host nation Qatar who have nothing to show in their three games played.
83 mins and Valencia goes down but the referee tells him to get up, no way through this Senegal defence at the moment, Ecuador showing a real lack of intention here considering they need to score. 5 mins plus additional to play.
85 mins and Ecuador have a free kick in a dangerous position in front of goal 40 yards out. Comes to nothing as the defender is fouled and the pressure is off.
Koulibaly clears yet again, been a rock in this game and my Man of the Match, hope he puts these types of performances in when he gets back to Chelsea!
90 mins and there are 6 minutes of additional time for Senegal to hold out. Another foul by Ecuador and more precious seconds are lost.
92 mins and a corner to Ecuador, they have to make these chances count. Mendy claws it behind, another corner from the other side. Goes for a throw in, can Ecuador get anything from this possession.
94 mins and it’s like The Alamo in the Senegal box, Ecuador players dropping like flies trying to get a penalty but the referee is having none of it. Two minutes left and Senegal wasting more time with substitutions. Can they hold on?
96 mins and an overhead kick gives Senegal breathing space, Koulibaly is down and in no hurry to get back up! that really should be it.
That’s it, full time and Senegal go into the knock out stages, joining the Netherlands, and a clash with the winners of Group B. Over to the Three Lions now to get the job done in their game.
Posted by the CSG’s World Cup Willie
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