World Cup: Ismailia Sarr and Koulibaly take Senegal to the Knockouts. Africa in the Fight for real

5 mins read

Africa is now squarely in the knockout stage of the World Cup. Anything is possible from here. Ismailia Sarr is a very unique player. He plays for Watford in England now but that boy can score goals. Nobody can figure out whether he is a midfielder or a forward but he can move very smoothly and shoot the ball.

Kalidou Koulibaly is a superpower in football. He is with my favourite team now which of course is Chelsea. But he has been a phenomenon in Napoli where he took the team to the top level of Italian football.

In Naples at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, Kalidou Koulibaly has been a superstar for six years and left this year. Napoli right now is the best team in Italy and they gave hell to Liverpool in the UEFA championship in the group stages. Nobody wants to see them at the next stage of UEFA in January 2023.

Africa looks good in this World Cup. We have Senegal in already. Morocco is next after they beat Canada which will break my heart but I am an African first and foremost. Morocco leads their group now after beating the crap out of Belgium, the most overrated team in the World Cup right now.

Ghana is in a good place too and it is very tricky. They have to beat Uruguay and they are in. In the last World Cup in 2018, Ghana and Uruguay were in the same position fighting to go to the Knockout.

Ghana was terrifying Uruguay and in the last minute of the full-time game, Asamoah Gyan had a perfect shot in goal. The famous Uruguay player Sergio Agüero was on the goal line and he stopped the ball with his hands because he knew it was going in the net.

In the following penalty after Aguero had been given a red card, Gyan took it and couldn’t score. In the penalties after that Uruguay won.

I still remember that shot like it was yesterday. A whole bunch of us were watching it in this big TV which we had to put outside in the backyard with my neighbours. And Gyan’s shot was saved. We are still arguing whether Gyan should have taken that shot after Aguero stopped his last-minute shot. Gyan was too charged up some of us argued that somebody else should have taken the shot.

Now one more time it is Ghana and Uruguay at the finish line. Ghana beats them and they are in. Cameroon is hanging around and Africa just looks really good in the World Cup.

And Senegal’s historic run into the World Cup has been applauded by many in the continent.

On Sunday, November 20, Raila said if any African team made it to the finals, he will fly to Qatar.

“I have told them if an African team is in the finals, I will go to Qatar. I will go to the semi-finals and the finals,”  he said.

He gave his blessing to the teams ahead of the World Cup tournament.

“I must begin by saying we are supporting the African teams and we hope and wish that this time our teams go beyond the group of 16, to a group of 8 then semi-finals,” he said.

The Senegal win has also attracted congratulatory messages from a section of leaders including Speaker of the National Assembly Moses Wetangula.

Sports CS Ababu Namwamba also weighed in.

“I’m supporting all African teams. I’ve really celebrated Senegal’s qualification. I just watched Senegal before I came to the show,” he said during an interview with Citizen TV.

The games began in November and will end on December 18.

Adongo Ogony is a Kenyan Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada

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