The road to Portugal
Senegal, who went into the 2015 CAF Beach Soccer Championship as Africa's title holders, scraped into the knock-out stages with just three points from a victory against Morocco in their first match. Although they lost to Ghana and Madagascar, they advanced on goal difference as the Ghanaians and Moroccans also finished on three points. The Senegalese then did all the hard-work in the semi-final, beating Nigeria's Super Sand Eagles to qualify for their fifth final and – more importantly – secure their ticket for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Portugal 2015. Although they lost the final to Madagascar, the Senegalese left the Seychelles having achieved their main goal.
Strengths and style
As one of just two African teams that have managed to escape the group phase at the World Cup, the west Africans will bring plenty of experience to the World Cup finals. For defender Ngalla Sylla and goalkeeper Al Seyni Ndiaye, Portugal will be the fifth participation at the finals, while winger Babacar Fall was in the last two Senegalese squads at the global event. The team is built around a strong defence, which gave away just 16 goals in qualifying, with only Nigeria conceding fewer. Upfront Pape Amadou Kamara and Ibra Thioune are good for goals, having scored five and four respectively at the CAF Championship.
FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup record
Senegal reached their first ever Beach Soccer World Cup in 2007 after finishing as runners-up at the CAF Championship. They topped their group after victories against Japan and Uruguay and an extra-time win against Italy, but then came unstuck against France in the quarter-finals. A year later they missed out on another place in the round of the last eight with an extra-time defeat against Uruguay. In 2011, a penalty shoot-out defeat against Portugal ended their World Cup campaign in the quarter-finals, while they failed to progress beyond the group stages in 2013, with Fall top-scoring for the side with six goals.