Niang discusses Senegal WC hopes
Posted: 12 June 2018 Time: 15:00
Former Moroka Swallows and Mamelodi Sundowns striker Mame Niang believes Senegal's chances of reaching the knockout phase at the FIFA World Cup rest in their opening match against Poland.
The Lions of Teranga are back in the World Cup for the first time since 2002 and will be determined to repeat the feats of the team that reached the quarter-finals 16 years ago in Korea/Japan.
Their journey to the last eight that historic year started with a shock 1-0 victory over defending champions France in the group phase and the West Africans need a similar result against Poland on Tuesday to give themselves a chance of progressing.
Colombia and Japan are also in the competing for progression to the knock-out stage out of Group H.
Niang, who played for Royal Eagles in South Africa's National First Division last season, feels Colombia will top the group, so the fight will be for second place.
"I think it all depends on the first game. If they don't lose against Poland, then they have a big chance to go to the next round," Niang tells KickOff.com.
"That game will basically define our tournament because I think Colombia will top the group. We play Colombia in the last game of the group stage.
"So we must do everything to qualify for the next round before we meet Colombia. That's going to be the key for us."