Senegal’s passage to the semi-finals of the FIFA U20 World Cup was a bit less dramatic than Mali’s qualification, securing their spot with a 1-0 win over Uzbekistan.
Mamadou Thiam scored in the 76th minute to give first-time qualifiers Senegal a meeting in the last-four with five-time champion Brazil on Wednesday.
Senegal had never won a match in the final qualifying stage for an under-20 tournament until this year.
After being denied for much of Sunday’s match by Uzbekistan goalkeeper Dilshod Khamraev, Thiam combined with Remi Nassalan for the winning goal.
“`It was a very tough match as I was expecting,” Senegal coach Joseph Koto said. “I can tell you one thing (Sengal’s capital city) Dakar isn’t sleeping right now.
“At first everyone expected us to get smashed, 5-0, 6-0, 7-0 at every match we played but the team actually progressed through the rounds and now everyone watches the matches.”