By Chux Odoh
Four down, one to go. Go into the round of sixteen that is. When Senegal steps on the field today to take on Colombia, they would be the only African side with a realistic chance of proceeding to the next stage. And if there’s anything to know about the Teranga Lions, they’re quite tenacious. Apart from Cameroon in 1990, Senegal is the only African side to reach the quarterfinals, losing narrowly to Turkey in extra-time.
Their charismatic coach Aliou Cisse was the captain of that team and sixteen years later, he has the opportunity to repeat that feat as his side only need to avoid a loss- a win or draw will give them at least five points. Colombia needs an outright win to get through.
Cisse understands what is required of his team. “Colombia have some top international players. They can vary the pace of the game and are tactically very strong… We’ll play for the win. The midfield battle will be key,” he told FIFA.com.
With all other African teams out of the tournament, all eyes will be on Senegal to carry the torch of the continent. They’ve done it before, let’s hope they can do it again.
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