Sunday, January 29, 2023

WC: Senegal, Netherlands, Portugal advance to last 16

Senegal and Netherlands sealed their place with wins on Tuesday and joined France, Portugal and Brazil in last-16. The Dutch defeated Qatar 2-0, while Senegal sealed a 2-1 win over Ecuador. Yesterday, Portugal and brazil reached the Round of 16. France were the first team to qualify.
Senegal beat Ecuador 2-1: Captain Kalidou Koulibaly’s second-half strike earned Senegal a 2-1 win against Ecuador that sent the African team into the knockout phase of the World Cup for the second time on Tuesday.
Koulibaly fired home from a clearance in the 70th minute, three minutes after Moises Caicedo had cancelled out Ismaila Sarr’s first-half penalty, to put Senegal on six points in Group A, one behind the Netherlands who beat hosts Qatar 2-0.
Ecuador, who needed a draw to qualify for the last 16 for the second time after 2006, end up third on four points after a game played to the relentless beat of the Senegal fans’ drums.
Senegal, who reached the quarter-finals in 2002 in their previous visit of the knockout phase, will face the winners of Group B, which features England, Iran, the United States and Wales.
Netherlands beats host Qatar 2-0: The Netherlands finished off the worst showing by any World Cup host nation by beating Qatar 2-0 on Tuesday.
The Dutch advanced to the round of 16 while the Qataris, who were already eliminated, became the first host to lose all three of its group matches at soccer’s biggest event.
Cody Gakpo put the Netherlands ahead midway through the first half with his third goal in as many matches and Frenkie de Jong doubled the advantage five minutes into the second half.
The Netherlands is a three-time runner-up at the World Cup, and also finished third in 2014, while Qatar was making its tournament debut. The Dutch failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
Portugal beats Uruguay 2-0: Cristiano Ronaldo wheeled away in celebration, acting as though he had scored yet another goal at the World Cup. Not this time.
Instead, it was Bruno Fernandes eventually credited with the goal that set up Portugal’s 2-0 win over Uruguay on Monday, advancing the team into the last 16.
Fernandes curled in a cross from the left that barely went over the head of the leaping Ronaldo and bounced into the far corner of the net in the 54th minute to give Portugal a 1-0 lead.
A grinning Ronaldo threw his arms in the air, suggesting he got the final touch, and was embracing Fernandes as multiple close-up replays were being shown on the big screens in Lusail Stadium.
The goal wound up being awarded to Fernandes, who added a second from the penalty spot in stoppage time after a handball by Jose Maria Gimenez.
Fernandes was denied a hat trick with virtually the last kick of the game, his shot from outside the area hitting the post and bouncing wide.
Portugal, which opened with a 3-2 win over Ghana, became the third team to reach the last 16 after France and Brazil.
Uruguay has one point from two matches and needs to beat Ghana on Friday to stand a chance of advancing.
The match was briefly interrupted just before the goal by a protestor carrying a rainbow flag and wearing a blue Superman T-shirt that said “Save Ukraine” on the front and “Respect for Iranian Woman” on the back. Security officials chased the protestor down and the flag was dropped on the field.
Portugal defender Pepe became the second oldest outfield player to feature at a World Cup, at the age of 39. The oldest is Roger Milla, who was 42 when he played for Cameroon at the 1994 tournament.
Portugal left back Nuno Mendes dropped to the ground in the 40th minute and was soon in tears after sustaining a match-ending injury. He was able to walk off the field unassisted. Portugal’s other left back is Raphael Guerreiro.

Tunisia vs France— 8:30pm
Australia vs Denmark—8:30pm
Poland vs Argentina – 12:30am (Thursday)
Saudi Arabia vs Mexico – 12:30am (Thursday)

Frankie de Jong, of the Netherlands, scores his side’s second goal against Qatar, at the Al Bayt Stadium on Tuesday. (AP/PTI)
Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, center celebrates with teammates after the end of group H soccer match on Monday (AP/PTI)
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