The 2022 calendar marked a very busy year for Senegal from the beginning of it. Right starting in January, they had a very important commitment in the Africa Cup of Nations, a championship that had avoided them for years in spite of having great players. Far ahead on the horizon was the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, but a lot could have changed if they didn’t perform well in that tournament from a confidence standpoint.

For having a squad full of world-class stars such as Sadio Mané, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Edouard Mendy among others, they were obligated to at least make a run to take the title. The journey wasn’t easy, although they were able to get the trophy and gain momentum before the last part of the qualifiers.

In the end, Senegal was drawn with no other than the host Qatar in group A. They should feel pleased with it since it’s a very even competition with the other teams as well. The national squads that complete it are Netherlands and Ecuador, so it should be a really interesting battle. But, how did they get there?

Senegal’s road to Qatar 2022

The path for Senegal started in the second round of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers. But this is why the African elimination system may be the toughest of all. That stage divides the 40 remaining national teams into 10 groups of four participants each, where only the leader advances to next round after playing twice between them. There they were drawn with Togo, Namibia and Congo.

It was clear early on that they were the favorites, and they didn’t disappoint. They got five wins and just one tie in route to an eight-point lead that qualified them with much anticipation. Although they were far from over, since now it was time for the most complicated part. Those 10 group winners were then split into five head-to-head matchups. One home game and another one away would decide which five teams would represent the continent at Qatar 2022.

Luck determined that Senegal’s rivals were Egypt, the same opponent they beat in the African Cup of Nations final in a penalty shootout. They lost 1-0 on the road in a result that put a lot of pressure on them, but they were able to get a 1-0 home victory. That meant penalties were going to be the judge yet again. Faith wanted the situation to get to Mané with the possibility of a game-winner just like in their previous meeting. Fortunately for them, then Liverpool’s star scored to send his squad directly to the World Cup.

Using this World Cup Predictor, you can see every potential outcome of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.