Senegal wrote history after the team was knocked out of its second World Cup by ….wait for it…. yellow cards. Senegal finished group stage play with four points, the same as Japan, but the tiebreaker came down to FIFA Fair Play points. After a 1-0 loss to Colombia, Senegal and Japan both finished with the same points, but with the teams tying 2-2 in the second match of group play, the tiebreaker came down to Fair Play points. Senegal ended with more cards than Japan, and as a result, Japan advanced to the knockout stage.
Now with the African Cup of Nations(AFCON) kicking off in less than a month, there are still doubts and questions that is have they learned their lesson? Will they repeat the same mistake or will they be now more cautious and play fair the team being the favorite to win the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title?
Senegal sealed their place at Egypt 2019 with a 1-0 win away to Sudan to qualify from Group A along with Madagascar who will play at a Nations Cup finals for the first time in their history.
Idrissa Gan Gueye one of the Terengan Lions, who plays for Everton in the English Premier League and is likely to be included in the squad,was booked six times in the just-concluded season. Will we see the same happen to him in the AFCON? Has he learned something? Or he just doesn’t care? Time will tell.
M’baye Niang is the player that costed Senegal since his yellow card was the one that the made the team say goodbye to the World Club and he has since received five yellow cards in the French League where he plays for Rennes and barely escaped a red card even after a VAR review.
They might blame it on the referee, the heat of the moment or even ‘Taking one for the team’ but that is a serious issue and it might cost them. Again.
Sadio Mane. The Liverpool star winger is one of the top talents in the Premier League and is coming off a 22-goal season sharing the Golden Boot with his fellow African brothers Mohamed Salah and Aubameyang. He’s as fast as they come, but he’s also wise on the ball. He knows when to cut in front of the defender and doesn’t need long to put a shot on frame. He’s the man in attack for the Lions.
Player to watch
It’s Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly. He’s one of the top defenders in Serie A and has been linked with many Premier League teams because of his performances. He’s so strong and stands 6-foot-4, he can help in the air on set pieces in attack and should give Senegal fans confidence that this team can defend. Combine him with defensive midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate of West Ham, and you have two fine defensive-minded players to lead.