U17 World Cup: Sarr brace sends Senegal into Round of 16 with win over Netherlands

Senegal fans
The Young Teranga Lions reached the Round of 16 following another come-from-behind triumph

Midfielder Pape Sarr grabbed a second-half brace and provided an assist to fire Senegal into the Fifa Under-17 World Cup Round of 16 following a 3-1 Group D victory over 10-man Netherlands at Estadio Kleber Jose de Andrade in Cariacica, Brazil on Wednesday.

It was another comeback victory for Senegal who three days earlier had overturned a one-goal deficit to thrash the United States of America (USA) 4-1 in their opening match.

On Wednesday, the Teranga Lion cubs who were making their debut at the World Cup first went down to a Naoufal Bannis goal 10 minutes into the match, before launching a spirited second-half showing.

Sarr hit back for Senegal just after the interval and completed his brace from the penalty spot three minutes to fulltime, before setting up substitute Aliou Balde to shatter Netherlands’ hopes of an equaliser by scoring deep into injury time.

A red card to Netherlands defender Melayro Bogarde five minutes from time did not help matters for the Oranje who conceded two goals after his sending off.

After losing their opening game to Japan, Netherlands appeared keen to make amends and immediately went ahead through Bannis who shot into the top left corner of the net off Devyne Rensch’s assist.

Senegal quickly responded through Samba Diallo three minutes later but the video assistant referee overturned the striker’s goal.

Bannis continued to be Netherlands’ danger man, forcing a save from Senegal goalkeeper Ousmane Ba, while Naci Unuvar also came close for the Europeans in the first half.

But Sarr and Souleymane Faye also missed good chances before the break as Senegal searched for an equaliser.

Just a minute after the restart, the Teranga Lions cubs levelled terms through Sarr’s shot from outside the box.

Netherlands tried to reclaim their lead soon after but Liverpool defender Ki-Jana Hoever found Ba unyielding in between the goalposts after a long-range shot.

At the other end, Netherlands goalkeeper Calvin Raatsie was on hand to impressively deny Issaga Kane who had fired from outside the box on 78 minutes.

As the contest appeared headed for a draw, Bogarde brought down Mouhamadou Diaw inside the box to concede a penalty and a second yellow card that handed Netherlands some numerical disadvantage.

Sarr stepped up to convert from the penalty spot to seal a brace and his third goal of the tournament after also scoring against the USA.

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As Netherlands pressed for an equaliser, Balde finished from close range after being fed by Sarr, killing Oranje's hopes of securing at least a point.

For the second game, Balde rose from the bench to find the back of the net and he now has two goals in as many matches.

Senegal now meet Japan in their final Group D game, while Netherlands face USA.