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  • Babajide EverBlazin

World Cup: Koulibaly's second half strike fires Senegal to last-16 spot

Kalidou Koulibaly scored his first international goal and a second-half winner to help Senegal beat Ecuador 2-1 at the Khalifa International Stadium to finish second in Group A and book their place in the last 16 of the World Cup.


The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations champions, had a great chance inside the opening two minutes when the ball ran through the penalty area to Idrissa Gueye, but the Everton midfielder dragged his shot wide.


Senegal, who beat hosts Qatar after losing their opening group match against the Netherlands, were awarded a penalty just before half-time when Piero Hincapie collided into Sarr.


The Hornets frontman got up to take the spot-kick himself and calmly rolled the ball past Ecuador goalkeeper Hernan Galindez.


Ismaila Sarr kept his cool to slot in a penalty spot just before half-time, but Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo equalised in the 68th minute.


After seeing lots more possession, Ecuador equalised in the 68th minute when Brighton midfielder Caicedo lashed the ball in from close range following a corner.


Senegal, though, were soon back in front when captain Koulibaly fired the ball home following a free-kick to send his side into the knockout stage – and a potential showdown with England.


Chelsea defender Koulibaly arrived at the far post to fire home his first international goal when a deep free-kick had been knocked back across the six-yard box.


Ecuador went on the offensive again as Aliou Cisse’s men sat back to protect their lead.


While Ecuador pushed forward, they looked vulnerable on the counter, with Dia firing just wide as the Lions of Teranga held out for a memorable victory to reach the knockout stages of the World Cup for the first time in 20 years.


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