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Monday, January 30, 2023

A special day for Senegal

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Koulibaly scored the decisive goal in the 70th minute – a special captain’s ribbon on his arm: the number 19 was painted on it in memory of Papa Bouba Diop, who died yesterday two years ago at the age of 42 from complications of a nervous illness. At the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea, Diop scored in a sensational 1-0 win against hosts France in the opening game. It was the start of a successful run that only ended in the quarterfinals against Turkey.

“A real lion never dies” read a banner that the players showed after the final whistle yesterday in honor of Diop. “This is for Papa Bouba Diop’s family,” Koulibaly said. “We wanted to make him proud and honor him. He made me dream as a little boy.”

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Captain was the current team boss Aliou Cisse 20 years ago. Yesterday, the 46-year-old only had to tremble for a moment about reaching the round of 16: Ismaila Sarr gave his team a 1-0 lead with a penalty (44th), Moises Caicedo scored the equalizer (67th) and became the first World Cup goalscorer since 16 years, which is not called Enner Valencia. Valencia had scored all three goals for the South Americans in their most recent appearance in 2014, and three in their first two games at these finals. Yesterday he became Ecuador’s unlucky man: defending from a set piece, the ball bounced right in front of Koulibaly’s legs, who converted the unintentional assist to make it 2-1 152 minutes after the 1-1 draw.

Oranje flawless, Qatar no points

The Netherlands topped their group with a lackluster 2-0 win over Qatar, who were without points in their first World Cup debut – a host country had never fared so poorly. Bonds coach Louis van Gaal’s team, on the other hand, extended the flawless series: “Oranje” also survived the group phase in their ninth World Cup appearance.

Source: Nachrichten

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