Sheffield United: Iliman Ndiaye's World Cup hopes raised by Senegal admission

Iliman Ndiaye’s hopes of appearing in Senegal’s second match of their World Cup in Qatar could have been raised by Aliou Cisse’s admission that the African champions’ need to become more clinical in front of goal.
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The Sheffield United attacker was an unused substitute during yesterday’s defeat by Holland, which saw late efforts from Cody Gakpo and Day Klaassen swing the match in the Dutch’s favour.

Although Cisse conceded Sadio Mane’s absence through injury - the Bayern Munich star suffered a tournament ending injury days before travelling to the Middle East - had been problematic, the former Birmingham City and Portsmouth defender also conceded the Senegalese had failed to make the most of the opportunities they created.

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And that could persuade him to hand Ndiaye an opportunity against the host nation on Friday.

“We are disappointed not to have scored, we created two or three good chances,” Cisse said. “We needed to be more effective in front of goal. Our attackers are good and we know what they are capable of.”

Senegal opted for Watford’s Ismaila Sarr, Idrissa Guye of Everton and Monaco’s Krepin Diatte as ‘three’ behind a lone centre-forward, Boulaye Dia, against Louis van Gaal’s side. The Star had predicted Dia, who has impressed for Salernitana this term, would get the nod ahead of Ndiaye for Senegal’s opening group game. But with the United youngster scoring nine times for Paul Heckingbottom’s side this term, Cisse will be tempted to hand him a more prominent role against the Qataris who were outclassed by Ecuador over the weekend.

Ndiaye’s United teammate, goalkeeper Adam Davies, has joined the 22-year-old in Doha after being selected by Wales. After drawing with the USA, they meet Iran three hours before Senegal are next in action before facing England next week. Wales are managed by former United defender Robert Page.

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“If we had won, we would have got off to the best way,” Cisse said. “But now the second game will be difficult and we have to make sure that we win it. The fact we have lost will motivate us even more to be better prepared for the next games.”