African Teams And Their Chances At The 2018 FIFA World Cup - Senegal

The Teranga Lions of Senegal
The Teranga Lions of Senegal will be representing Africa in group H at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. They are drawn in the same group with Japan, Colombia and Poland who are ranked 61, 16 and 8 in the FIFA rankings with Senegal sitting at 27. The Teranga Lions picked the ticket to Russia with 14points ahead of Burkina Faso,Cape Verde and South Africa,  scoring 10 goals and conceding 3. Controversy broke out in their final group game against South Africa and FIFA ordered a replay of the original match after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld the lifetime ban of match referee Joseph Lamptey. Originally South Africa had defeated Senegal 2–1. The replay ended 2-0 in favour of Senegal.

Their first World Cup outing was in Korea/Japan 2002. They caused a big upset by defeating the defending champion France 1-0,  drew with Denmark and Uruguay, and beat Sweden in extra time in the round of 16, before losing to Turkey in the quarter-finals. Till date they are one of only three African teams to do so (the first being Cameroon in 1990; the other being Ghana in 2010).

This marks their second World Cup appearance and the team boasts of players who are capable of doing more than the 2002 squad achieved.

Sadio Mane in Action
They have four players who are renowned goalscorers, Moussa, Diouf and Mane but their lightning attacking force is spearheaded by Mane who has scored 14 goals in 53 appearances for the team.
They will play their opening game against Poland on June 19 before facing Japan on June 24. If they can do the job in the first two games, the game against Colombia on June 28 will be to determine who tops the group.

It may be their second appearance but memories of their first appearance can send shivers down the spine of any team.

By Onwordi Ngozi Fortune.

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