Senegal have finished second in Group A, booking their place in the London 2012 quarter-finals thanks to a 1-1 draw with UAE, who head for home at the first hurdle. The Emirates took the lead in the first half through their talismanic captain Ismaeil Matar, but Senegal’s ace Moussa Konate then picked up his fourth goal at the finals to put the West Africans through to the knockout rounds.
After only two minutes, Omar Abdulrahman sent in a cross that was missed by both attackers and defender inching narrowly wide of the post. The Emirates were clearly dominating the run of play early on, but Senegal got themselves organised at around the quarter-hour mark and began to stamp their authority on proceedings.
Pape Souare sent in a low cross from the left after 16 minutes and Konate only just missed sliding in an opener from inches out. Another chance was fast in coming as, just seconds later, Souare sent in a free-kick which was nodded across the face of goal by Papa Gueye. However, Konate could only head the ball wide on this occasion.
The Gulf side weathered the storm and took a deserved lead in the 21st minute. Rashed Eisa raced into the Senegalese box and crossed low for Matar, the captain delicately chipping over the keeper and into the back of the net.
The Senegalese drew themselves level right at the outset of the second half, Souare crossed from the left and Konate headed home his fourth goal in three games at the London finals. The Africans began to up the tempo and Konate had two more clear chances to score before UAE saw their first clear chance on goal. Matar cut into the box in the 68th minute, but his shot got away from him and flew well wide of the mark.
It proved to be the last real hope for UAE, who have played some intuitive and impressive football at these finals. They now head for home while Senegal move into the quarter-finals as section runners-up behind Great Britain.