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Qatar World Cup : Senegal and England Ready for the Game of Lions

Twenty years later, the Lions are back in the round of 16 of a World Cup. But in 2002, the adventure did not stop there. It continued to the quarters with the generation of El Hadji Diouf. What if we rewrote history!

Senegal-England, a never before public announcement in the World Cup. Indeed, this is the first time that the two countries meet in such a competition, Senegalese and English players having already faced each other at the 2012 Olympic Games with a draw.

Precisely, this unprecedented match, qualifying for the quarter-finals of Qatar 2022, is the subject of several comments at the level of both camps. And in this chapter, it was the English camp who was first to launch the debate. Reactions that sound confidence, but also caution.

Just like their coach Gareth Southgate. « I saw Senegal play against Iran (in a friendly) in Vienna. I have observed them well. From now on, we will study their matches. We know some players who play in major leagues and in England, « says the English technician. But who still warns his players: « We know we are the favourites, we must assume it, but we play a very dangerous team. »

A message well captured by Trent Alexander-Arnold. « I think any team that reaches the knockout stages is a top team. I’m sure no matter what we say or do, we’ll go into the game as favourites. But as a team, we know how good they are and are aware that in 90 minutes anything can happen. If we play 90-95%, we will go home, « says the English right-back.

the defence, Kalidou Koulibaly. Moreover, the captain had a measured joy following the qualification snatched against Ecuador. A way to project oneself on the English opponent.

« We won’t celebrate, we don’t have to be happy. We have done something good, but this is just the beginning. England or any other team, we will do everything to win the game. We are Senegal, we fear no one. » Although suspended for this match, Idrissa Gana Guèye boosts his teammates. « The knockout stages are not the goal. We see further than that. We have no limits. We have a workforce that can go a long way. »

The Three Lions are warned. They will have to deal with determined Lions this Sunday night.

By Hyacinthe DIANDY / hdiandy@lequotidien.sn 

  • Translation by Ndey T. SOSSEH

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