Africa’s surviving representative Senegal will play their decisive group match against Colombia on Thursday at the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russia, with coach Aliou Cisse confident of a possible outcome.
A draw would be enough to leap into the round of 16 but Cisse, who captained the Teranga Lions at the 2002 edition, believes his outfit has the quality and discipline to cause an upset for Los Cafeteros at the Cosmos Arena in Samara.
“It’s more than possible to win the game because we have four points, Colombia have to defeat us and we are perfectly capable of defeating Colombia,” Cisse said. “Our state of mind hasn’t changed. We play one match at a time.
“Our only option is to get into the round of 16 and this means we have to defeat Colombia.
“Concentration is important for us, details will make the difference. We need to be cautious and alert on set-pieces and in our technical skills.
“We played them in 2014 so we know their weaknesses and strong points and we are number one in our group by now and we have to be defeated and it’s not easy to beat Senegal.”
Colombia bounced back from a 2-1 defeat in their opener against Japan to crush Poland 3-0 while Senegal blew up the chance to book an automatic berth in the next round by settling for a 2-2 draw against the Samurai Blue.
“The Colombian team I’ve seen against Poland and Japan were very physically fit on one-on-ones; they’re highly committed and I’d say the same with Senegal,” Cisse said.
“They have very good midfielders and they do great things with [Juan] Quintero in particular.
“We have very good players who can resist any impact who may win one-on-ones and I think it will be played in the midfield but we know Colombia has good wingers too.
“We have similar styles and this is why I think there’ll be a lot to see on the pitch tomorrow.”
Senegal reached the quarterfinals at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.