Ecuador vs Senegal — Preview

Match Preview

As soon as the draw was made, it looked like this final fixture would decide the fate of these two nations. After beating the hosts, Qatar, on opening night, an Enner Valencia goal brought Ecuador a point against group favourites, the Netherlands. Senegal held out until the 84th minute against the Dutch, and despite losing that match 2-0, they bounced back with a 3-1 win against Qatar. All of this leaves Senegal needing a win to make the last 16. To this point, Ecuador has belied their lack of experience, with La Tri  having brought one of the youngest squads to the tournament, with an average age of 25.6 years. The Dutch finally brought an end to Ecuador’s run of 11 hours and 42 minutes without conceding a goal, but the South American’s defence remains stingy. They used a back three on Matchday 2, having begun the tournament with four at the back.

Senegal has missed their all-time leading goalscorer in Sadio Mané, failing to convert any of their 15 shots against the Netherlands. Ecuador’s Enner Valencia, in contention for the Golden Boot after three goals in two games, was stretchered off against the Netherlands, but the team is hopeful he might be able to take part. Senegal won the only meeting between these two, 1-0, in a friendly 20 years ago. A lot more is at stake in their second encounter.

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