AL RAYYAN: Senegal coach Aliou Cisse said his team are expec­ted to reach the World Cup knockout stages due to their status as African champions but his players are adapting to the pressure well.

Senegal need to beat Ecuador in their final Group ‘A’ game on Tuesday to qualify for the last 16. They could still remain in contention with a draw, provided hosts Qatar beat three-times finalists Netherlands.

“I come from a country where we don’t like losing,” Cisse told reporters on Monday. “We’re always hungry for that win. Not going to the round of 16 would be difficult to digest.”

Cisse’s side lost 2-0 to the Dutch but beat Qatar 3-1 to keep alive their hopes of advancing.

“We understand that winning will allow us to continue on the adventure and that’s exactly what we intend on doing,” Cisse said.

Ecuador need a win or draw to qualify, after beating Qatar 2-0 and outplaying the Dutch in a 1-1 draw.

The South Americans are sweating on the fitness of captain Enner Valencia after he was carried off late in the Netherlands draw with a recurrence of a knee strain.

The 33-year-old forward has scored all three of Ecuador’s goals in Qatar. Ecuador coach Gustavo Alfaro was not definitive about his striker’s fitness, but said Valencia would of course be starting if he can.

“He is an extraordinary player and I would always pick him. If not from the beginning, I hope he can be present at some point. But he will want to be there,” he said.

“Everything that we’ve done in the past will be useless tomorrow, it’s a totally different game,” Alfaro remarked about the Senegal clash. “We just want to win in order to qualify.”

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

A grave tragedy
Updated 08 Feb, 2023

A grave tragedy

It is hoped that Pakistan continues to send as many personnel and relief goods as needed to Turkiye, Syria.
Pharma shutdown
08 Feb, 2023

Pharma shutdown

IN the midst of an economic and political maelstrom, a fresh crisis threatens the availability of drugs in the...
PSL season
Updated 08 Feb, 2023

PSL season

PSL has provided a launching pad for several of the team’s current stars, and for them, hitting top form will be key.
No pardon for rape
Updated 07 Feb, 2023

No pardon for rape

Cultural filters and biases can often lead to faulty applications of the law.
Health insurance
07 Feb, 2023

Health insurance

THE planning ministry is reported to have raised objections to Punjab’s flagship universal health coverage...
The people’s demands
07 Feb, 2023

The people’s demands

AS the people of KP are literally on the frontline of the battle against terrorism and violent extremism, they are...