A 44th-minute penalty by Ismaila Sarr gave Senegal a 1-0 halftime lead against Ecuador in their decisive Group A match that will see one of them through to the knockout stage of the World Cup on Tuesday.
Senegal needs to win to qualify but remain in contention if they draw and Qatar beat Netherlands in the other Group A match. Ecuador needs to win or draw to progress but will remain in contention if they lose and Qatar upset the Dutch, who were leading 1-0 at halftime.
Valencia shrugs off injury
Ecuador’s veteran striker Enner Valencia recovered sufficiently from a knee strain to make it into 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, had scored three goals in Ecuador’s good start to the tournament – one win and a draw – but left the field injured towards the end of the first two games.
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 centre forward at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.
With defensive midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate still out injured, Ciss added to steel in the middle of the park. Iliman Ndiaye and Ismaila Sarr provided width to an attack without Sadio Mane, whose injury absence in Qatar has been a massive 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
Coach: Aliou Cisse (SEN)
Referee: Clement Turpin (FRA)
(With input from agencies)