Senegal captain Kalidou Koulibaly has disclosed how talismanic forward Sadio Mane pushed the team to victory against Ecuador.
The Terangha Lions won the keenly contested tie 2-1 to secure a place in the Round of 16.
Koulibaly scored the winning goal for Aliou Cisse’s side.
He stated post-game that he received a pre-game “good luck” message from Mane, while adding: “There are lots of things going on. We knew the anniversary of Papa [Bouba Diop]’s death was important, we wanted to make him proud. He was a source of inspiration to all the players.
“It was important to make his family, our own families and the whole of Senegal proud. We wanted to show exactly why Senegal are the champions of Africa.
“Two-thirds of the world probably thought we wouldn’t go through after Sadio’s injury. But we are a family, a well-oiled team. There is a dream of going beyond the quarter-final. We keep believing, we want to relate the story of Senegalese football.
“The next game will be tough, every game is. But the team who plays against us will be a little bit afraid. They can see we have a lot of talent – that we can do good things.”