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Senegal boss: “We have to defeat Colombia”

Japan v Senegal: Group H - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
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Senegal boss Aliou Cisse believes that the only way to ensure progression to the next round of the World Cup is by beating Colombia in their final Group H game

A point in today’s encounter will be enough to guarantee a spot in the last 16 for Senegal, who currently sit a point above Colombia in second place in Group H behind Japan.

Therefore, the Lions of Teranga may opt for a defensive approach in this decisive match – although they have failed to record a clean sheet in the World Cup since their first-ever game against France in 2002.

But Cisse, who himself was the captain of that 2002 side, is refusing to lay low and insists that they cannot take anything for granted.

“Colombia have to beat us to make it to the last 16, but we are perfectly capable of defeating Colombia,” said the 42-year-old, according to BT Sport.

“Our state of mind hasn’t changed: we play one match at a time. The only option is to get into the last 16, and this means that we have to defeat Colombia.”

After a surprise defeat against Japan in their opening game of the tournament, Colombia have since bounced back in style with a convincing 3-0 win over Poland.

“I think Colombia and Senegal have the same way of playing. They like commitment, they like high speed, so I think it’s going to be a highly-contested match, a very interesting match between two teams who could both be in the round of 16,” said Cisse.

“It’s true that Colombia may raise a few difficulties for us, but we have a few aces up our sleeves as well and I think tomorrow, we will be able to play them.”

Senegal and Colombia will meet at the Samara Arena at 16:00 (GMT +2).