Accessibility links

Senegal Scores 'Golden Goal,' Advances to World Cup Quarterfinals

Surprising Senegal, which is making its World Cup debut, has defeated Sweden 2-1 in extra time to advance to the quarterfinals of the Asian football spectacular.

Before the match against the Swedes, Senegal's head coach, Bruno Metsu, said his team wants to create a wonderful story for African football. Playing in Oita, Japan, the Senegalese wrote another thrilling, victorious chapter in their first World Cup storybook.

The hero and man of the match for Senegal was striker Henri Camara, who scored the equalizer for the Africans in the 37th minute, and then "the golden goal" during the 104th minute in extra time.

Camara showed his versatility on each goal. The first he hit with his right foot, driving the ball hard and low just outside the penalty area. On his game-winning goal, Camera hit the ball with his left foot. It hit the post, and then bounced past Swedish goalkeeper Magnus Hedman.

Sweden took an early lead in the 11th minute, on a header by Henrik Larsson off a corner kick. It looked like Sweden might win the match in extra time. The best scoring opportunity came from Anders Svensson, whose shot hit the post. But shortly after, Camara took a backheel pass from teammate Pape Thiaw and drove home his game-winner.

Coach Metsu spoke in French after the match. Through an English interpreter, he praised the Swedes, who had a long winning streak ended. "Mr. Metsu is really very, very happy, to have beaten this strong Swedish team. He said that they had won 16 games without a loss. Now, in the 17th game, Senegal is happy to have beaten the Swedish team. So really, Mr. Metsu is very, very happy," he said.

Football fans in Senegal and across Africa are also "very, very happy." The Senegalese are the only African team remaining in the World Cup competition. They have equaled the achievement of Cameroon, which up to now, had been the only African side to reach the World Cup quarterfinals doing so in 1990.

Senegal will next play the winner of Tuesday's match between Turkey and host Japan in Miyagi, Japan. Senegal's quarterfinal is scheduled for June 22 in Osaka, Japan.