A place in the knockout stages will be up for grabs when Senegal and Ecuador meet in their final Group A match.
Ecuador are one point ahead of their African rivals as they have a win and a draw in their previous two games.
Senegal, on the other hand, bounced back from their opening day defeat with a 3-1 win over hosts Qatar.
Ecuador are currently the Group A leaders ahead of the Netherlands, which is a commendable feat by all means.
El Tri manager Gustavo Alfaro’s tactics have been spot-on in the first two matches. They have been equally good at raiding the opposition penalty box as they were defending their own.
Ecuador’s all-time leading goalscorer Enner Valencia has shouldered the goalscoring responsibilities again for his nation.
The Fenerbahçe striker has scored all three goals for Ecuador in the tournament and currently leads the Golden Boot race.
Valencia’s brace sank hosts Qatar in the opening match.
The 33-year-old was on target against the Netherlands too, as he cancelled out Cody Gakpo’s early opener. A win against Senegal will ensure Ecuador’s place in the round of 16.
If they can outmatch Oranje’s result against Qatar, they will go to the knockout stage as the Group A champions.
Sadio Mané’s absence cast a shadow of doubt over Senegal’s World Cup campaign. Still, the reigning African champions put on a spirited display against the Netherlands in their World Cup opener.
Senegal lost the match after conceding two late goals, but they showed they could fight toe to toe with the big boys.
The Lions of Teranga roared back to life in their second group match when they cruised to a 3-1 win over Qatar in their second match.
Boulaye Dia, Famara Diedhiou, and Bamba Dieng were on target to put the hosts to the sword. Now, they need to pick up another win to extend their World Cup journey to the next stage.
A draw will also suffice if Qatar beat the Netherlands in their final match in the tournament. But Aliou Cissé’s men will want to have control of their fate in their own hands and go for the full three points.
Enner Valencia has been instrumental to Ecuador’s success, but the Latin American side might have to make do without their captain.
Valencia went off injured against Qatar, but he returned to the starting XI right against the Dutch. Unfortunately, he had to leave the pitch on a stretcher this time around. Gustavo Alfaro is hopeful about his availability, but nothing can be said for sure at the moment.
If Valencia fails to recover in time, Jeremy Sarmiento or Kevin Rodriguez will have to deputise for the former West Ham striker.
Senegal has no worry concerns to sweat over ahead of the tie.
Kalidou Koulibaly and Abdou Diallo will form the defensive core in front of the goalkeeper Édouard Mendy.
Ismaïla Sarr and Krepin Diatta will take up the wider positions on the attack.
Boulaye Dia and Famara Diedhiou will renew their partnership up front.
With both teams desperate to stay alive in the tournament, this is shaping up to be a closely fought encounter.
We think this will end in a 1-1 deadlock.
Date: 29 November
Kick Off: 8:30 PM IST
Venue: Al Thumama Stadium
WATCH: Cristiano Ronaldo performs obscene gestures as fans chant Lionel Messi’s name
During the Saudi Pro League game between Al Shabab and Al Nassr, Nassr skipper Cristiano Ronaldo was seen making obscene gestures towards rival fans. The Shabab fans were chanting Ronaldo’s biggest rival Lionel Messi’s name. Not for the first time though, some Saudi football fans do prefer Messi over the Portuguese player. Meanwhile, during the game on Sunday, the Portugal international crossed all the limits as he made some obscene gestures.
Watch the video here
Al-Shabab fans chanting: “Messi, Messi”
— Troll Football (@TrollFootball) February 25, 2024
Talking about the game, the Yellow Brigade, Nassr won against Shabab. Ronaldo gave his team as he made the most of the penalty in the 21st minute of the game. However, in the injury time of the first half, Yannick Carrasco scored an equalizer before going into the break. In the first minute of the second half, Anderson Talisca gave a lead to Nassr. In the 67th minute, Carlos scored the equalizer for Shabab, and the game looked like ending in a tie before Talisca scored the match-winning goal in the 86th minute.
Meanwhile, the former Real Madrid player is set to face disciplinary action. As per the Saudi writer and television host, the disciplinary committee might take action.
“The disciplinary committee is facing the biggest test. We will wait and see. Everything has its limits, no matter how famous you are. This is how the major leagues are” Waleed Al Farraj, a prominent Saudi writer and television host, said on X.
Cristiano Ronaldo faced disciplinary action during his stint with Manchester United
A few months before the FIFA World Cup 2022, he threw a fan’s phone when he was part of the English club, Manchester United. He was banned for a few games which meant that he missed a few games for his current club, Nassr. However, the ban didn’t apply in the World Cup as he was available for selection during the tournament, in which his team lost the Quarterfinal to Morrocco.
Virgil Van Dijk’s late strike in extra time helps Liverpool beat Chelsea in Carabao Cup final
Liverpool emerged victorious in the Carabao Cup final in 2024. In a thrilling game which was full of twists and turns, Liverpool managed to beat Chelsea to clinch the cup. Jurgen Klopp’s men were awarded with the winner’s medal as they edged out Chelsea in a low-scoring thriller that went to extra time. The defence of both sides was good to watch.
The match had many edge-of-the-seat moments. In the first half, Liverpool attempted a lot of shots over Chelsea. While some were out of target, some were in the target, but stopped by the goalkeeper. Cody Gakpo was unlucky to find the ball hit the goalpost. The strike of the youngster went in vain as the first half did not witness any goal.
Liverpool’s skipper was brilliant in the game. He martialed his troops well and got the coordination going for a long time. He in fact nearly had a goal in the first half, only to be ruled out by the VAR, which was highly controversial. There is a debate for the legitimacy of the goal which was not given despite the help of the technology. Liverpool did not get carried away with the moment.
Captain brilliant Virgil Van Dijk steps up in crunch moments
Klopp deployed younger players as substitutes in the 2nd half. It helped Liverpool a lot as they were able to not just put pressure on Chelsea but also create a lot of chances. While none of them were converted to goals in the second half, they ensured that Chelsea’s players were in check. At one stage, the absence of Mohammad Salah in the middle was felt.
The match went to the extra time, where things got a bit closer. Chelsea attempted to score goals but ended up giving more advantage to Liverpool. The younger legs marked well and provided good assists to the forwards. The moment came in the 118th minute of the game, when Van Dijk netted the goal and helped Liverpool to win the prestigious title.
Virat Kohli picks his ‘Sporting GOAT’
Virat Kohli was asked to pick his ‘Sporting GOAT’ in a recent interview. The star cricketer was interviewed by Team Blue Rising who asked him to name the greatest sportsperson of all time. “Who is your Sporting GOAT?” asked the host to the star batter. Kohli did not hesitate to take the name of one of the greatest Football players as his pick for the question.
The Indian batter claimed Cristiano Ronaldo to be the greatest Football player of all time. “For me, it’s Cristiano Ronaldo,” said Virat in the interview. It came as no surprise to the fans, as Virat has always been a huge admirer of the star Footballer. Even in the past, the 35-year-old has expressed his admiration for the star player from Portugal.
In many instances, the Indian batter has claimed Ronaldo to be his favourite player. Ronaldo has been one of the best players the sport has ever seen. Many claim him to be arguably the greatest Sportsperson of all time. Virat has joined the list of those to claim him to be the greatest athlete in the sports world. Ronaldo has some records to back his claim for the title.
Legacy of Cristiano Ronaldo and Virat Kohli
The Portuguese Footballer has the greatest number of goals for an international team. He also has the greatest number of international caps for a player. The star player is the only player to win four major cups with two different clubs. He did it with Manchester United and Real Madrid. Cristiano has the second most number of Ballon d’Or titles (Five) after Lionel Messi.
Virat, on the other hand, is a great cricketer. He has the greatest number of hundreds for a batter in ODIs. Virat has the greatest number of hundreds in ODIs while chasing. He is also the highest run scorer for India in T20Is. Kohli has the most runs for a batter in the IPL. He has the greatest number of POTT awards for a player in the T20 WC and the ODI WC.
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