Stunning! The Senegalese Lions were for this Thursday Brazil (5-4) in the quarterfinals. A historic success that makes Senegal the African country to reach the semi-finals of a Beach Soccer World.
History! Yes they did! After missing the boat in 2007, 2011 and 2017, the Senegalese national team finally broke the glass ceiling to reach the semi-finals. Being the most successful selection in Africa with six crowns, Senegal was tipped to be the first nation from the black continent to reach the last four of a Beach Soccer World Cup.
But how hard it was to get there. As since the start of the tournament, the Lions conceded the opener. Moreover, Seyni Ndiaye’s partners will lose the first two thirds (1-0 and 3-1) before pulling out their claws during the third and final third. Mandione Diagne will first score the 3-2 goal. And as often, it is Raoul Mendy who will equalize at the very end of the game.
Three goals everywhere, it will take extra time to decide between Brazil, the most successful team with 14 world titles and Senegal, six-time African champion. More enduring and more skilful, the Lions of Téranga will lead for the first time in the match thanks to Raoul Mendy and Mandione Diagne who will each sign a double. Mass is said, Senegal dismisses the Brazilian ogre and goes to the semifinals.
Author of the Lions’ first goal, iconic goalkeeper Al Seyni Ndiaye expressed his satisfaction. “We thank the good Lord. Even if it was not easy, because Brazil is one of the best teams in the world. But when we left Senegal, we had a very specific objective, which was to reach the semi-finals. Failed in 2007. We owed a debt to the Senegalese people and the Senegalese Football Federation, “said the captain of the Lions.
Before continuing: “now that the first objective has been reached and that even if this qualification is historic, what remains is to bring in the President of the Republic, Macky Sall, accompanied by his Minister of Sports, Matar Ba, and of its Minister of Urbanism, Abdoulaye Sow, to attend the final. We will do everything to get to the final. “
In the semifinals, Senegal will come into contact with Japan, which defeated Tahiti. A match that will take place this Saturday at 4.30 p.m. GMT.
Note that Senegal will play this semi-final without three titular players. They are goalkeeper Al Seyni Ndiaye, defender Mamadou Sylla and striker Mamour Diagne. They are suspended for accumulation of yellow cards.