Senegal defeated Ecuador 2-1 on Tuesday, a thrilling victory that saw Kalidou Koulibaly lead Senegal into the World Cup knockout stages for just the second time in their history.
Senegal had to win to advance from Group A, while Ecuador would have advanced with a draw, but the Netherlands' resounding victory over Qatar made that impossible.
Ismaila Sarr's penalty gave Senegal the lead late in the first half. However, despite keeping Ecuador captain Enner Valencia quiet the entire time, Moises Caicedo of Brighton tied the score in the 67th minute before Koulibaly sent Senegal through and Ecuador home.
The game was quickly started by the Africans, with Everton's Idrissa Gana Gueye slamming the ball just wide of an open goal after only three minutes. Senegal manager Aliou Cisse had stated before the match that his experienced team "would not overthink" the occasion.
A counterattack that was well outside of his box was stopped by Ecuador goalkeeper Hernan Galindez less than a minute later in order to save his team's high backline.
On the 10 minute mark, Senegal's Boulaye Dia found himself one-on-one with Galindez, but he cut the ball just wide of the post.
Seemingly sparked into life by Senegal's fierce opening, Ecuador pushed forward and won a free-kick 30 meters from goal, with the South Americans taking the opportunity for a rare breather before Valencia slammed the ball into the wall.
After the furious opening exchanges, both sides began to settle, and the first half looked set to end goalless before Ecuador defender Piero Hincapie clattered into Sarr, giving referee Clement Turpin no choice but to point to the spot.
Sarr stepped up and coolly dispatched a fine spot-kick past Galindez, maintaining eye contact with the keeper as the ball went in.
Ecuador started the second half fresher and more determined, perhaps reassured that the Netherlands' dominance over Qatar meant they only needed a draw to go through.
From a free-kick, defender Felix Torres rose high to head the ball on to Caicedo, who was waiting at the far post and slammed the ball home.
Senegal struck back immediately and in almost identical fashion, with Koulibaly lurking unmarked at the far post following a free-kick that was deflected into his path by Hincapie.
Coming into the match on a yellow card, Gueye picked up a second-half booking and will miss Senegal's last-16 game against the winners of Group B.
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