Team Senegal at the 2022 World Cup: Africa's Golden Lions - Inc News
, author: Plackhin A.

Team Senegal at the 2022 World Cup: Africa's Golden Lions

What can the strongest team on the hottest continent expect at the World Cup in Qatar?

Photo source: Reuters

The second hero of our story about the participants of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is the national team of Senegal in Group A.

Senegal

Senegal is a state located on the western edge of Africa. Its coast is washed by the Atlantic Ocean. It's a former French colony, which gained independence in 1960. Even by African standards Senegal is not a very prosperous country. Industry is developed only in terms of mining (phosphorites, iron ore, gold, zirconium), most of the economy is based on agriculture, where peanuts, corn, sorghum, rice are grown and fish are caught.

Senegal's capital Dakar is famous in the sports world. It gave its name to the popular international rally.

Senegal's national soccer team

However, the rally has not finished in Senegal since 2009, and Dakar has remained only a brand. The locals are left with soccer, the country's national team has been rejoicing lately with the results. It has been in existence since 1961 and for the first time took part in the Africa Cup of Nations in 1965, but it made its first notable achievements only in 2002. The Senegalese first won the CAN silver medal, and then made a splash at the debut World Cup in Japan and South Korea. Already in the first match of the group stage, they beat reigning world champion France - 1:0, then played a draw with Denmark - 1:1 and Uruguay - 3:3, losing by three goals. In the 1/8 finals, Teranga Lions sent home the Swedes - 2-1, and only in the quarterfinals their march was stopped by the Turks, who scored the only goal in extra time. Only Cameroon have ever managed to go this far in the African group stage. El Hadji Diouf, a midfielder for the Senegalese side, was named a symbolic member of the 2002 FIFA World Cup squad.

The next time the Senegalese honored the World Cup with their presence was only 16 years later: they came to Russia for the 2018 World Cup. "The Teranga Lions" beat Poland 2-1, drew with Japan 2-2 and lost to Colombia 0-1. Since the Senegalese and Japanese were tied on points, scored and conceded goals, the fate of a playoff berth was decided by the number of yellow cards - there were fewer for Japan.

Senegal goes to Qatar as the strongest team on the continent: in 2019 it won silver in the African Cup of Nations, and in 2021 - gold.

Stars of the national team of Senegal

There are many famous players on the squad: Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and his teammate Kalidou Koulibaly, Everton midfielder and recent PSG player Idrissa Gaye and Bayern Munich striker Sadio Mane. Gaye and Mane are now among the top five of the national team in terms of the number of matches. In addition, the Bayern forward, who scored 26 goals for the national team, has only three goals left to catch up with the leader - Henri Camara.

Spartak Moscow forward Keita Balde could have been included in the Senegal national team at the 2022 World Cup, but he is unable to play until winter due to an anti-doping offense.

Group A opponents

Netherlands, Ecuador, Qatar.

Forecast on Senegal's performance

There are four dark horses in this group, so it is very difficult to predict how it will all end. If the Dutch do not fail, then Senegal should be in second place - although, of course, there will not be an easy walk in the matches against tough nut Ecuador and the hosts from Qatar in any case.