Russia 2018 Watch: Colombia send Senegal home
PUBLISHED: 20:04 28 June 2018
Senegal were meeting Colombia for just the second time in all competitions, with the only previous encounter an international friendly in 2014 which ended in a 2-2 draw in Buenos Aires.
Carlos Bacca was the only member of los Cafeteros’ World Cup squad on the scoresheet on that occasion, with Moussa Konaté and Cheikh N’Doye finding the net for the Lions of Teranga.
The African outfit required just a point to seal qualification into the last 16, while Colombia needed all three points to have any chance of topping the group. The South Americans’ only previous World Cup fixture to be contested on June 28 saw them overcome Uruguay 2-0 in the last 16, courtesy of strikes from James Rodríguez.
The midfielder had been instrumental in this campaign and provided two assists in his side’s 3-0 victory over Poland for Yerry Mina and Juan Cuadrado, with Juan Fernando Quintero providing the other.
Quintero had also been involved in two of Colombia’s four tournament goals – scoring a free-kick in their tournament-opening defeat to Japan and setting up skipper Radamel Falcao to score his first-ever tournament goal against Poland.
Senegal were hoping to become only the second African nation to condemn la Tricolor to a defeat in the World Cup since Cameroon back in 1990 (the Colombians only loss to an African side in three attempts).
The Colombians’ previous encounters with African opponents in the tournament have been decided by one-goal margins, including the 2-1 defeat to Cameroon, and have scored in every contest: beating Tunisia 1-0 in 1998 and triumphing 2-1 over the Ivory Coast, four years ago – meaning the Senegalese would have to apply José Mourinho’s park-the-bus tactics if they were to prevent the South Americans from scoring this time round.
In the 16th minute, the Africans had initially been awarded a penalty when Liverpool’s Sadio Mané went to ground under a challenge from Tottenham’s Davinson Sánchez, who appeared to win the ball.
However, Referee Milorad Mažić reviewed the incident after consulting with VAR before overturning his initial decision.
In the 30th minute, Colombia were dealt a blow when talisman Rodríguez, who was the golden boot winner in their last tournament, was forced off with injury and replaced by Luis Muriel.
In the 73rd minute, the Senegalese were also dealt a blow when Youssouf Sabaly was forced off with injury and was replaced by Moussa Wagué.
Poland were leading against Japan elsewhere, meaning that as it stood – both Senegal and Colombia were heading through.
But in the 74th minute, matters changed as Mina headed home from a Quintero corner.
Senegal knew that a draw would send them through and they pushed for the goal, but the South Americans held on to top the group and the Africans exited on fair-play points due to an inferior disciplinary record to Japan, who finished second.
It also meant that there would be no African contingent in the knockout stages for the first time in 36 years.