Today, Senegal are hoping to do what group favorites Poland and Germany could not: advance to the knock-out rounds of the 2018 World Cup. Their hopes, assuming Poland suddenly decides not to suck at the footy, rest heavily on the shoulders of Liverpool and Senegalese star Sadio Mane.
Although Mane scored the opener in the thrilling 2-2 draw against surprising group leaders Japan, manager Aliou Cisse expects more from both Senegal, generally, and Mane, specifically.
“Frankly, we were not very good,” Cisse concluded, post match.
“A player like Sadio Mane is a player with a lot of expectations and he is one of the players under the spotlight.
”He can do better, but today he was better than against Poland and he needs to do better against Colombia.”
Cisse captained Senegal to the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals in their only other appearance at the tournament. Mane and this Senegal team have been thrilling to watch so far, and it’s not hard to imagine this side matching Cisse’s impressive run from 16 years ago.