The road to Bahamas
Having been beaten by Madagascar in the final of the 2015 edition, Senegal headed to the 2016 CAF Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations with their sights firmly set on reclaiming the title, which they did in style. They began their march to glory by topping Group B, in which they won all three of their games, scoring 15 goals and conceding just four. Next up, they thrashed Egypt 5-2 in the semi-finals, with Babacar Fall bagging a hat-trick, to clinch their place at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas 2017. More celebrations were to follow the next day, when they overcame Nigeria 8-4 to be crowned African champions for the fourth time, in the process reinforcing their status as the continent's most decorated country on sand.
Strengths and style
Senegal have cause for optimism at both ends of the pitch. Going forward, the aforementioned Fall is a seasoned campaigner – he represented the country at the last three Beach Soccer World Cups – who topped the scoring charts in qualifying with 11 goals. Further back, meanwhile, they boast a solid defensive unit in front of an outstanding shot-stopper in Al Seyni Ndiaye, who let in just ten goals over the course of the preliminary competition in Lagos, Nigeria, and was rewarded with the Best Goalkeeper award.
FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup record
The Lions of Teranga featured in their first Beach Soccer World Cup in 2007, for which they qualified as continental runners-up. They won their group thanks to victories over Japan, Uruguay and Italy, the last of the three secured after extra time, before falling to France in the quarter-finals. However, at the following edition, they missed out on a last-eight spot due to an extra-time defeat by Uruguay. They bowed out in the quarter-finals again in 2011, on that occasion losing out on penalties to Portugal, while they failed to survive the group stage in both 2013 and 2015.