Senegal have wasted little time in cementing their status as a genuine force on the African beach soccer scene. After reaching the quarter-finals of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in 2007 and inflicting a shock defeat on host nation France in Marseille the following year, the so-called Lions of Teranga were disappointed to miss out on qualification for Dubai 2009. Having righted that wrong in style this time around, they will be determined to shine at Ravenna/Italy 2011.
The outstanding attacking power of Pape Koukpaki and partner-in-crime Fall was the primary driving force behind the Senegalese charge to glory at the African qualifying tournament in Casablanca, Morocco. After winning the competition with an emphatic 7-4 victory over Nigeria in the final, Senegal must be considered serious candidates to spring a surprise on Italian sand.
Senegal recorded victories against Uruguay and Italy in 2007, and beat France at the 2008 event. Host nation Italy will therefore be very wary of their Group A rivals come September’s showpiece.
Koukpaki, Ndiaye, Fall
Senegal won all four of their games on the sands of Casablanca to be crowned worthy continental champions. Their flawless campaign featured victories over Algeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt and finally holders Nigeria in the title decider.
The numbers game
16 - Koukpaki and Fall struck eight goals apiece to finish joint-top scorers at the African qualifying tournament. Between them, the pair struck 16 of Senegal’s 23 goals in the competition.