World Cup 2018: Senegal are the last Africa side who can make it to the knockout stage

World Cup 2018: Senegal are the last Africa side who can make it to the knockout stage

Senegal will “have the whole continent behind them” when they look to become the only team from Africa to reach the World Cup knockout stage in Russia, says defender Kalidou Koulibaly.

Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia have all fallen at the group stage.

Senegal will set up a last-16 date with either England or Belgium if they avoid defeat to Colombia on Thursday.

“It’s up to us to make them proud, to fly the flag for Senegal and Africa at this World Cup,” said Koulibaly, 27.

Senegal have four points heading into their final Group H game after beating Poland before drawing with Japan, who also have four points.

Colombia have three points while Poland cannot advance after losing their first two games.

“We know we already have 15 million Senegalese behind us and now we have all the continent,” added Napoli’s Koulibaly.

“They’re all going to support us.”

Egypt failed to pick up a point in three games Group A, while Tunisia, who face Panama on Thursday, have lost their first two games and cannot advance from Group G.

Morocco’s only Group B point came in an entertaining 2-2 draw with Spain,while Nigeria beat Iceland but lost to Croatia and Argentina in Group D.

Senegal are appearing at the World Cup for only the second time, having reached the quarter-finals on their debut in 2002.

“I think it should be more of a positive thing rather than pressure,” said Koulibaly, when asked if there was pressure on the Teranga Lions to advance.

“We’re going to do our utmost to get to the last 16 and I think we have everything we need to do that.”

No Africa team has reached the semi-finals of the World Cup.

Cameroon (1990) , Senegal (2002) and Ghana (2010) all reached the quarter-finals.


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