After losing to the Netherlands 2-0 in their opening World Cup game on Monday at Al Thumama Stadium, Senegal’s head coach Aliou Cisse advised his attackers to be more proficient in front of goal.
The Netherlands extended their unbeaten streak under coach Louis van Gaal to 16 games with late goals from Cody Gakpo and substitute Davy Klaassen, which helped them claim second place in Group A.
Senegal, who are competing without injured forward Sadio Mane, are third, ahead of tournament hosts Qatar, who lost their opening match 2-0 to group winners Ecuador.
The African champions had only four of their 15 shots on target while playing with Boulaye Dia as the lone striker and an attacking trio of Ismaila Sarr, Idrissa Gana Gueye, and Krepin Diatta.
“We are disappointed to have not scored, we had two or three very good chances,” Cisse told reporters.
“We needed to be more effective in front of goal.
“Ismaila and Krepin are responsible there, but of course, the absence of Mane is a problem for us… Our attackers are good and we know what they are capable of.
“It was a challenging game… We need to work on it (scoring goals) with Ismaila and the others. We expect a lot from him and Krepin.”
Cisse claimed that the side lost momentum in the second half as a result of injuries to midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate and left back Abdou Diallo.
Kouyate landed awkwardly after an aerial challenge, and was then carried away on a stretcher.
“I am worried about those who got injured…. for Abdou, it’s a muscular problem and Kouyate twisted his ankle, we need to check and make sure they are ready for the other games.”
After playing Qatar on Friday, Senegal will play Ecuador on Sunday.
“If we had won, we would have got off to the best way…. but now the second game can be difficult and we have to make sure we win it,” Cisse said.
“The fact we have lost will motivate us even more to be better prepared for next games.”