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STATBOX- Senegal, the African team most likely to have best of results at the World Cup



Following is a statbox on Senegal at the World Cup:

FIFA Ranking: 18

Odds: 80-1

Previous tournaments:

Senegal are one of three African countries to reach a World Cup quarter-final – the best achievement by a team from the continent. They did so on their debut appearance in 2002, when they upset holders France in the opening game in Seoul. Senegal qualified again for the last World Cup in Russia and lost out on a place in the knockout stage on the number of cautions received in the first round after they were tied in the group standings with Japan on points, goal difference and goals scored.

How they qualified


Senegal were the top-ranked team in the African qualifiers, earning a bye in the group phase which started last September. They romped through their group, winning five of their six matches against Congo, Namibia and Togo, who were the only side to take points off them in a 1-1 draw. Senegal then met Egypt in the playoffs in a repeat of their Africa Cup of Nations final success six weeks earlier and won a shootout again, after the two-legged tie in March ended 1-1 on aggregate, to book a place in Qatar.

Form guide:

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse led a chorus of critics demanding to have Cup of Nations qualifying matches, scheduled for the June and September international window, postponed to allow the Qatar-bound African teams to organise more testing World Cup warm-up games. He was partially successful, after Senegal beat Benin and Rwanda in Cup of Nations qualifiers in June, and a postponement of the campaign in September allowed Senegal to instead beat Bolivia in a friendly in France and then draw 1-1 with Iran in Austria.



Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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