Didier Drogba hopes that Senegal’s failure to score more than three against Qatar would not cost them qualification.
Drogba, a former Ivory Coast international, jokingly refused, though, to back the fellow African team to go through given his own allegiances to his country.
Senegal went 2-0 up and were stunned back into action when they conceded to Qatar’s first goal of the World Cup to make the scores 2-1, and the result ended 3-1 in their favour.
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That sparked them into a more attacking approach in order to ensure they kept the three points.
Qatar lost their opening group stage game 2-0 to Ecuador, and they still have a chance to go through even though they are pointless, but it depends on how the group’s remaining fixtures shake out.
Speaking after the match on the BBC, Drogba said that Senegal’s conservative approach in such a tight group could cost them the chance of progressing to the knockout stages.
“I would have liked to see more goals from Senegal, they stopped attacking at 2-1, and this could cost them qualification,” he said.
Asked about his own views on another African country doing well, he conceded he did want Senegal or another team from the continent to do well, but he would not be drawn on explicitly endorsing their World Cup efforts in 2022.
He continued: “When you play you want your team to go further, but because we haven’t been so far in a competition, the last once was Senegal, 2002 they went to quarter finals, and since then..
“We all want African teams to do better. It’s a very difficult question.”
Attention now turns to the Netherlands’ fixture with Ecuador, with the former Chelsea striker saying: “I don’t think they played well today, but I think a lot depends on what the Dutch do against Ecuador.”
Former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand also noted the sluggish first-half effort from both sides, and praised Qatar’s goal from Mohammad Muntari’s 78th minute header.
He noted: “It was exactly what we asked for, and they came out fighting. It was nice to see Qatar get on the scoresheet, it was a really well worked goal.”
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