Sadio Mane can’t err in crucial showdown

SAMARA. — Senegal must cut out the defensive errors and find a way to get Sadio Mane firing like he does for Liverpool if they are to tame Colombia today and reach the Soccer World Cup last 16.

The match kicks-off at 4pm.

Coach Aliou Cisse was critical of his pacy and powerful side after their 2-2 draw with Japan on Sunday, saying their opponents were the better team and called on forward Mane to step it up.

“Frankly, we were not very good,” concluded Cisse, Senegal captain in their run to the quarter-finals in 2002, their only previous appearance at a Soccer World Cup. Cisse was particularly unhappy with the way that Senegal twice threw away the lead in Yekaterinburg.

Substitute Keisuke Honda’s leveller, 12 minutes from time, was an especially poor goal to give away as goalkeeper Khadim N’Diaye flapped at a cross. A victory would have all but propelled Senegal into the last 16, but they now face a Colombia side in Samara who have their tails up following a classy 3-0 win over abject Poland.

Going into the final round of games in Group H, Japan and Senegal have four points, Colombia have three and pointless Poland are already eliminated. It means that a draw for Cisse’s side will be enough to progress. — AFP.

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