Senegal Scores Pair of Second-Half Goals to Fend Off Qatar

Senegal Scores Pair of Second-Half Goals to Fend Off Qatar originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

It took some patience, but Senegal remains in the hunt heading into the second week of World Cup action.

After taking a 1-0 lead late in the first half, Senegal opened up the second half with a perfectly executed set piece. Ismail Jakob’s corner made contact with forward Famara Diedhiou’s head, and he buried the ball to the back post.

The goal doubled Senegal’s lead against a much-improved Qatari offense. After becoming the first host in World Cup history to lose its opening game and failing to get a single shot on goal against Ecuador, Qatar gave Senegalese goalkeeper and 2021 FIFA goalkeeper of the year Edouard Mendy no shortage of scares.

One of those landed in the 78th minute as Qatar scored its first ever World Cup goal and seemingly inched its way closer to a draw.

Just as momentum started to swing Qatar’s way, however, Senegal struck again.

Sheffield United’s Illiman Ndiaye snuck past the Qatari defense and slotted a pass to teammate Bamba Dieng. Dieng, coming off the bench, took one clean strike and found the back of the net, giving Senegal a much-needed cushion with less than 10 minutes remaining in full time.

Senegal finished 3-1 to keep itself in contention for a spot in the Round of 16. It will take on Ecuador on Tuesday at 10 a.m. ET in what could turn out to be a deciding match, depending on the outcome of Ecuador-Netherlands later on Friday.