Kalidou Koulibaly’s nerveless volley sent Senegal into the World Cup’s knockout stages for only the second time in their history as they eliminated Ecuador at a rowdy Khalifa International Stadium.

The win means Aliou Cisse’s side finish second in Group A, setting up a last-16 meeting with Group B winners England on Sunday (19:00 GMT).

All three goals came from players based in England as Ecuador’s Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo cancelled out a penalty by Watford’s Ismaila Sarr before Chelsea defender Koulibaly’s side-footer won it.

Ecuador needed just a point to progress but paid the price for a passive display as Senegal were spurred on by an almost non-stop cacophony of drumming from their supporters in Al Rayyan.

Watford winger Sarr coolly stroked home from the spot, after being clumsily upended by Ecuador defender Piero Hincapie, to put the African champions deservedly ahead.

Ecuador levelled with their first real chance as Caicedo swept home Felix Torres’ flick-on but Koulibaly’s composed finish immediately regained the lead for Senegal, who knew only victory would be enough to go through barring an unlikely Qatar upset against the Netherlands.

They held out amid a nervy six minutes of stoppage time to finish as runners-up in the group behind the Dutch, who clinched top spot by handing the tournament hosts a third defeat in three games with a comfortable 2-0 win in Al Khor.

Senegal find goals despite missing Mane

Kalidou Koulibaly's winner was his first goal for Senegal in his 67th international cap for his country
Kalidou Koulibaly’s winner was his first goal for Senegal in his 67th international cap for his country

Much has been made of the absence of Senegal talisman Sadio Mane from this tournament through injury but they have found goals from elsewhere, their five thus far in Qatar all coming from different players.

They found swathes of space in and around the Ecuador area early on as the South Americans began nervily but Everton’s Idrissa Gueye and Boulaye Dia both dragged excellent opportunities wide.

But Sarr, who had missed his two previous penalties for his club, showed composure from the spot to slot his side in front and their heads did not drop even when Caicedo levelled from a corner.

Victory secured a first last-16 appearance since 2002, when they shocked France in the opening game on their way to the quarter-finals and, before the game, Senegal dedicated their efforts to former Fulham and Portsmouth midfielder Papa Bouba Diop – scorer of the famous winner against the French – who died, two years ago to the day, in 2020 aged 42.

Koulibaly, who paid tribute by penning 19, Bouba Diop’s old shirt number, on his captain’s armband, said he would give his man-of-the-match award to the late midfielder’s family.

“We wanted to pay homage to him, he made me dream when I was a boy,” said the 31-year-old.

“We knew we wanted to play in his honour, this wasn’t something we were going to let slip. This was a special day for Senegal.”

Senegal became the first African team to beat a South American side at the World Cup since Cameroon against Colombia in 1990, ending a 21-game winless run in such meetings, and are only the third African nation to reach the knockout stages on two or more occasions, emulating Nigeria and Ghana.

They will, however, be without influential midfielder Gueye, for the second round – and what would have been his 100th cap – after he picked up a second yellow card of the tournament.

Entertaining Ecuador suffer stage fright

Many Ecuador players lay prostrate on the pitch at the final whistle, some in tears, devastated at letting slip their chance of progression – like Senegal they had only once previously negotiated the group stages – and a face-down, clearly distraught Caicedo had to be physically hauled from the turf by team-mates.

Ecuador had rightly earned plaudits for their opening two games, having brushed aside Qatar and arguably been the better side in their 1-1 draw with the Dutch – but they failed to reproduce that level of performance under the pressure of a virtual winner-take-all environment.

Boss Gustavo Alfaro risked joint leading World Cup scorer Enner Valencia despite the three-goal forward being taken off on a stretcher late on against the Netherlands, and he failed to make any impact.

The four points they had accrued prior to the game meant Ecuador could play for a draw but they did not look like a side that had kept seven successive clean sheets earlier in 2022 and Senegal took full advantage.

Player of the match

CaicedoMoisés Caicedo

with an average of 8.02


  1. Squad number23Player nameCaicedo

    Average rating


  2. Squad number7Player nameEstupiñán

    Average rating


  3. Squad number16Player nameSarmiento

    Average rating


  4. Squad number13Player nameE Valencia

    Average rating


  5. Squad number24Player nameReasco

    Average rating


  6. Squad number5Player nameCifuentes

    Average rating


  7. Squad number2Player nameTorres

    Average rating


  8. Squad number25Player namePorozo

    Average rating


  9. Squad number19Player namePlata

    Average rating


  10. Squad number11Player nameEstrada

    Average rating


  11. Squad number17Player namePreciado

    Average rating


  12. Squad number3Player nameHincapié

    Average rating


  13. Squad number8Player nameGruezo

    Average rating


  14. Squad number21Player nameFranco

    Average rating


  15. Squad number1Player nameGalíndez

    Average rating



  1. Squad number13Player nameNdiaye

    Average rating


  2. Squad number18Player nameSarr

    Average rating


  3. Squad number3Player nameKoulibaly

    Average rating


  4. Squad number4Player nameCissé

    Average rating


  5. Squad number26Player nameGueye

    Average rating


  6. Squad number16Player nameMendy

    Average rating


  7. Squad number6Player nameMendy

    Average rating


  8. Squad number9Player nameDia

    Average rating


  9. Squad number5Player nameGueye

    Average rating


  10. Squad number22Player nameDiallo

    Average rating


  11. Squad number11Player nameCiss

    Average rating


  12. Squad number21Player nameSabaly

    Average rating


  13. Squad number14Player nameJakobs

    Average rating


  14. Squad number20Player nameDieng

    Average rating




Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Galíndez
  • 17PreciadoSubstituted forPorozoat 85′minutes
  • 2Torres
  • 3Hincapié
  • 7Estupiñán
  • 21FrancoSubstituted forSarmientoat 45′minutes
  • 8GruezoSubstituted forCifuentesat 45′minutes
  • 23Caicedo
  • 19Plata
  • 11EstradaSubstituted forReascoat 64′minutes
  • 13E Valencia


  • 4Arboleda
  • 5Cifuentes
  • 6Pacho
  • 9Preciado
  • 10Ibarra
  • 12Ramírez
  • 14Arreaga
  • 15Mena
  • 16Sarmiento
  • 18Palacios
  • 22Domínguez
  • 24Reasco
  • 25Porozo
  • 26Rodríguez


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 16Mendy
  • 21Sabaly
  • 3Koulibaly
  • 22Diallo
  • 14Jakobs
  • 11CissSubstituted forMendyat 74′minutes
  • 26Gueye
  • 13NdiayeSubstituted forDiengat 75′minutes
  • 5GueyeBooked at 66mins
  • 18Sarr
  • 9DiaSubstituted forCisséat 90+5′minutes


  • 1Dieng
  • 2Mendy
  • 4Cissé
  • 6Mendy
  • 7Jackson
  • 10N’Diaye
  • 12Ballo-Touré
  • 15Diatta
  • 17Sarr
  • 19Diédhiou
  • 20Dieng
  • 23Gomis
  • 24Name
  • 25Loum

Clément Turpin


Match Stats

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Ecuador 1, Senegal 2.

  2. Second Half ends, Ecuador 1, Senegal 2.

  3. Foul by Pervis Estupiñán (Ecuador).

  4. Youssouf Sabaly (Senegal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Substitution, Senegal. Pape Abou Cissé replaces Boulaye Dia.

  6. Attempt missed. Jackson Porozo (Ecuador) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jeremy Sarmiento with a cross.

  7. Hand ball by Bamba Dieng (Senegal).

  8. Corner, Ecuador. Conceded by Édouard Mendy.

  9. Corner, Ecuador. Conceded by Idrissa Gueye.

  10. Foul by Jackson Porozo (Ecuador).

  11. Ismail Jakobs (Senegal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Attempt saved. Jeremy Sarmiento (Ecuador) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Pervis Estupiñán with a cross.

  13. Attempt saved. Pape Gueye (Senegal) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Bamba Dieng.

  14. Foul by Piero Hincapié (Ecuador).

  15. Bamba Dieng (Senegal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Foul by Félix Torres (Ecuador).

  17. Youssouf Sabaly (Senegal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Gonzalo Plata (Ecuador) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  19. Foul by Nampalys Mendy (Senegal).

  20. Substitution, Ecuador. Jackson Porozo replaces Angelo Preciado.

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