World Cup 2022: Senegal 'must be ambitious' to beat England in last 16

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2022-12-03 | Since 2 Month

England Team

Doha, 3 December 2022 - Senegal must stick to their attacking principles to beat England in the last 16 of the World Cup, according to former international Omar Daf.

The West Africans won their first continental title in February but will come up against a side which reached the World Cup semi-finals in Russia four years ago and then finished as runners-up at the European Championship last year.

Yet Daf wants the Teranga Lions to play on the front foot despite facing attacking talents including Marcus Rashford, who has three goals in Qatar, and 2018 golden boot winner Harry Kane.

"Senegal are the African champions so we must continue to be ambitious," the 45-year-old, part of the Senegal squad which reached the last eight of the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea, told BBC Sport Africa.

"Tactically, we will have to be very strong to beat this English team.

"The English are complete defensively, in the middle and even in terms of their offensive animation. But we have the weapons to continue this adventure."

The winners of the game on Sunday (19:00 GMT) will face either defending champions France or Poland in the quarter-finals.

The Teranga Lions go into the game without record goalscorer Sadio Mane, ruled out of the tournament through injury, but five different players have chipped in with goals in his place as the West Africans finished second in Group A.

"Even in the absence of Sadio, which is a big loss for us, we learned to reorganize and play differently," Daf, now manager of French Ligue 2 club Dijon, added.

"All the players are capable of scoring and being dangerous so we must rely on this collective to win this match."

England are fifth in the Fifa world rankings while Senegal - coached by Daf's former team-mate Aliou Cisse - are 18th, having become Africa's top-ranked side in November 2018.

"Our opponent is one of the best teams in Europe but Senegal are not African champions for nothing," Daf said.

"We arrived in this competition with a lot of ambition. The boys show it in every game, I hope they will take this game with a lot of energy. This team is a pleasure to watch."

Captain of the 2002 squad, Cisse took charge of Senegal in 2015 and lost the Africa Cup of Nations final in 2019 before returning to lift the title in Cameroon earlier this year.

"Aliou is a very intelligent person, very pragmatic. Being a leader of men is one of his qualities," Daf said.

"I think Aliou will choose the same strategy [as previous games] to beat this English team. In any case we are confident, it is 50-50 and we must be ready on the day."


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