Senegal failed to progress beyond the first round of the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Samba Diallo's team-mates were guilty of ineffective finishing in all three of their group stage matches, which explains their early elimination.
Senegal have been eliminated from the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Their failure to qualify was confirmed by their 1-1 draw with Colombia on Saturday 27 May. The Cubs could do no better than 4th place in Group C with 2 points. This is the first time in their history that Senegal have failed to progress beyond the first round of the U20 World Cup. They reached the semi-finals in 2015, the round of 16 in 2017 and the quarter-finals in 2019. However, given the performances of Malick Daf's protégés, this return home is entirely logical, given that the Senegalese have failed to capitalise on their numerous chances in three matches.
First, against Japan in their U20 World Cup opener, Senegal took 12 shots (3 on target) before losing 1-0. The 2023 African champions were expected to bounce back against Israel, but missed the boat with a 1-1 draw. During the match, they scored 24 shots, 9 of which were on target. Papa Demba Diop only scored the equaliser in the 80th minute. Finally, against Colombia, they were still in the same vein, with 21 shots (7 on target). All in all, Senegal took 57 shots, 19 on target, and only managed to score two small goals. These goals came from the feet of midfielders Papa Demba Diop and Mamadou Lamine Camara. A clear sign of a lack of attacking intent.
Senegal's absence from the U20 World Cup was not the least of their problems. First and foremost was Lamine Cama. The conductor of the orchestra at the last U20 AFCON, where he was voted best player, was not released by FC Metz, whom he joined after the victory in Egypt. The same is true of his team-mate Pape Demba Diallo. The winger was a real dynamo at the African U-20 Cup. Another more surprising absence is that of Samba Diallo. Yes, the Lion Cubs captain made the trip to Argentina. However, he was never able to pull his weight. Too technically weak and physically struggling, the number 10 missed his tournament.
Nevertheless, coach Malick Daf believes there is no need to condemn his charges. "These are young players who still have to improve. We need to get back out there and keep working. That's the most important thing. Be that as it may, the U20 World Cup continues without the African champions, but with the other three African representatives (Gambia, Nigeria and Tunisia), all of whom have qualified for the last 16.