Senegal’s Word Cup odyssey was cut short Sunday (Dec. 4) after a 3-0 defeat against England in Qatar.
Fans watching the game in Dakar, from a fan zone, wished for a goal until the very end.
The Teranga Lions' coach Cissé admitted there had been a gulf in quality. First-half English goals gave the squad a mountain to climb and a third in the second half ended the contest.
"Senegal losing to England in the round of 16 is no surprise especially since we played without Sadio Mané," Mamadou, a fan, said. "It is logical but we are Senegalese and we faced this game with enthusiasm to galvanize the team. "
"A match lasts 90 minutes and in the first half we played pretty well and created chances but unfortunately we didn't score," said Cissé.
"We were playing a very good England team and we saw that in their challenges, their physical strength. We weren't as good as we should have been."
Serve the Senegalese and make all Africa happy
Seydina Omar Niang, another fan, shared the Teranga Lions' coach views: " I expected Senegal to be much more consistent, much more assertive, much more aggressive [...] Unfortunately England was much stronger than us, as logic expected. We can only be proud of our Lions."
Senegal that are ranked 18th by FIFA, end their World Cup campaign on 2 wins and 2 losses.
Fans cheered for their teams in the ups and downs yet, the squad was missing two or three players who could have made a difference including star striker Sadio Mané or midfieldder Idrissa Gueye.
"As Senegalese, we did not even expect Senegal to reach the round of 16 without Sadio Mané. The [players] gave their all, they sacrificed, they gave body and soul so that they could come to the last 16, so they played a great tournament. They did their best to serbe the Senegalese people and to make all Africa happy."
Enven though Senegal had arrived with high hopes of matching a quarterfinal run of two decades ago, fans were thankful for the 2022 world cup tournament.
The African champions will defend their title in 2024 in Ivory Coast. Then eyes will be set on the 2026 World Cup.