Senegal's gameplan foiled by Colombia as World Cup hopes end

Senegal became the first team ever to be eliminated due to yellow cards accrued after they were beaten 1-0 by Colombia in Samara on Thursday.

The Lions of Teranga largely limited their opponents' chances, but were undone by another set piece when Yerry Mina rose above the defence to head home in the 74th minute.

Senegal's defeat means that Africa will not have any representatives in the Last 16 for the first time since 1982, but can Aliou Cisse's side take any positives from this defeat?


Largely, Senegal limited Colombia's chances, particularly after James Rodriguez's exit, with Kalidou Koulibaly and Salif Sane's centre-back partnership proving impenetrable from open play.


Much of Senegal's build-up was excellent, but they lacked a cutting edge up front, with Sadio Mane largely operating more deeply and Keita Balde drawn wide.

Again, as they have been for Senegal - and all of Africa's teams - during this tournament, set pieces were the undoing, with the Teranga Lions unable to deal with a late corner.

Manager rating (out of 10):

6 - Aliou Cisse made a series of changes to his side, both making Senegal more defensively minded - introducing Lamine Gassama and Cheikhou Kouyate - while giving Keita Bale his first start of the tournament.

However, while Senegal looked solid defensively, and lively going forward, they failed to create too many high-quality chances and their finishing was poor.

His fluid 4-4-2 formation looked like a sensible choice once Colombia's early flurry ended, but Senegal might have been wise to have killed the tempo of the game once news of Poland's goal against Japan had come through.

Player ratings (1-10, with 10 the best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):

GK Khadim N'Diaye, 6 - Made an early save from Juan Quintero's free kick, the only attempt Colombia had during the first half, but unconvincingly came for a cross early in the second half as the South Americans' pressure increased.

DF Youssef Sabaly, 6 -- Enjoyed a feisty battle with Juan Cuadrado, and largely had the better of the contest after the early stages. He was well protected by Keita Balde.

DF Salif Sane, 7 - Carried the ball out of defence well and largely denied Radamel Falcao much sight of goal. His partnership with Kalidou Koulibaly continues to develop well.

DF Kalidou Koulibaly, 7 - Has grown into the tournament, and improved his burgeoning reputation here by reading the ball well, and demonstrating his composure under pressure. He helped limit Colombia to just one shot during the first half.

DF Lamine Gassama, 7 - Introduced by Cisse as more conservative option than Wague, he was arguably Senegal's best player, making seven decisive defensive contributions.

MF Idrissa Gueye, 7 - More decisive work in the midfield, and helped protect the defence. He completed five tackles, and was at the heart of Senegal's build-up.

MF Cheikhou Kouyate, 6 - Replaced N'Diate for his first start of the tournament, and was a big presence in midfield. He carried the ball forward well at times, but was arguably slow to react for the goal.

MF Keita Balde, 6 -- Appeared keen to make up for lost time during this tournament with a lively showing, where he was a threat cutting inside or going out wide.

Faded during the second half and missed his header for Colombia's decisive corner.

FW Sadio Mane, 6 - He was central to Senegal's play, but appeared tired at times. While his pace troubled Colombia, he too often ran into cul-de-sacs, lost the ball and dribbled with his head down.

He operated more centrally than he had done earlier in the tournament, and caused Carlos Sanchez problems with his direct running,

Mane involved, but tired, running into cul-de-sacs, head down, operated more centrally, caused problems for Carlos Sanchez.

FW Mbaye Niang, 6 - Ineffective in front of goal, but battled well in the air and set up two goalscoring opportunities.

FW Ismaila Sarr, 7 - Another lively performance by the wideman, even if he hasn't lit up the tournament as he might have done. He protected Gassama well, but blazed a wild volley over as Senegal sought an equaliser and was guilty of play acting.


DF Moussa Wague, 6 - Dropped, somewhat harshly, as Cisse opted for the more defensive Gassama, but came on for Sabaly for the final 11 minutes.

FW Moussa Konate, 5 - Touch and decision-making let him down at the death, when a more composed approach was required.

FW Diafra Sakho, 5 -- A final throw of the dice, but lost the ball with one of his four touches.