Colombia book Round of 16 spot after eliminating Senegal

Colombia book Round of 16 spot after eliminating Senegal
Johan Mojica of Colombia (L) and Ismaila Sarr of Senegal in action during the FIFA World Cup 18 group H preliminary round soccer match between Senegal and Colombia in Samara, Russia, 28 June 2018.

by Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Jun 28, 2018. 18:13

Colombia edge out Senegal 1-0 in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Group H match at the Cosmos Stadium in Russia on Thursday.

As a result, the Coffee Growers advanced to the Round of 16 after winning Group H, while the Lions of Teranga are eliminated after finishing third on the group standings.

The Coffee Growers were the better side in the opening stages of the game as they forced Senegal goalkeeper Khadim N'Diaye into making two good saves within the first 15 minutes of the game.

The lanky ‘keeper gathered Colombia midfielder Uribe's deflected effort, before denying Juan Fernando Quintero, who was looking to score with a free-kick.

The Lions of Teranga then launched an attack against the run of play and they were awarded a penalty after Sadio Mane was fouled inside the Colombia box by Davinson Sanchez in the 17th minute.

However, Serbian match referee Milorad Mazic overturned his original decision after viewing the video footage of the incident.

Senegal then began pressing Colombia and in the 27th minute Keita Diao Balde unleashed a shot which was saved by keeper David Ospina.

The England-based shot-stopper Ospina was then forced to make another comfortable save a minute later and this time he was denying Ismaila Sarr.

The Coffee Growers suffered a blow as their star player James Rodriguez went down injured and he was replaced by Luis Muriel on the half-hour mark.

Muriel, who is speedy player, tried to make an immediate impact when he whipped a cross into the Senegal box for his team-mate Radamel Falcao.

However, Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly made a crucial interception at the near post just before the half-time break.

The score was 0-0 at the interval following a lively first-half.

The Coffee Growers dominated possession after the restart as they looked to penetrate the Senegal defence which was led by Italy-based defender Koulibaly.

Quintero tried to slide the ball forward in search of his Colombia team-mate Santiago Arias in the 54th minute, but Youssouf Sabaly made a crucial interception and Senegal cleared the danger.

The Lions of Teranga were awarded a free-kick in a promising area just three minutes after the hour mark after Mane was fouled by Colombia hardman Carlos Sanchez.

England-based forward Mane stepped up and fired over the crossbar without troubling Ospina inside the Colombia box.

Senegal were forced to make a change in the 72nd minute after Sabaly had sustained an injury and he was replaced by fellow full-back Moussa Wague.

The Lions of Teranga defence then went to sleep and they conceded with 16 minutes left on the clock from a corner-kick.

Yerry Mina rose highest at the corner to head the ball home - beating Khadim N'Diaye to make it 1-0 to Colombia, much to the delight of the Coffee Growers’ fans inside the stadium.

Senegal pushed for the equalizing goal and M'Baye Niang forced Ospina into a great save with a powerful shot in the 76th minute as the Africans looked to respond with a goal.

Diafra Sakho, who is a striker by trade, was introduced by Senegal coach Aliou Cisse with four minutes left on the clock.

However, Colombia contained Senegal in the closing stages of the game and ultimately, they emerged 1-0 winners on the day.

Senegal 0
Colombia (0) 1 (Mina 74')

Senegal: K N’Diaye, Gassama, Sane, Koulibaly, Sabaly (Wague 74'), Keita (Konate 80'), Sarr, Kouyate, Gueye, Mane, Niang (D.Sakho 86').

Colombia: Ospina, Arias, Mina, Mojica, D Sanchez, C Sanchez, Rodriguez (Muriel 30') Cuadrado, Uribe (Lerma 83'), Quintero, Falcao (Borja 89').

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