The big-cat fight: The Three lions will square up to the Lions of Teranga in tonight’s World Cup fixture
Senegal’s fans have their own trump cards for tonight’s clash: rain sticks and tumba drums.
And last night in Qatar they were showing how their music will shake the Al Bayt stadium as they cheer on their team.
Draped in the red, yellow and green colours of the West African nation, fans were filling Doha’s marketplace, the Souk Waqif, with the sound of traditional instruments such as the kessen kessen, a tube that makes a sound like rain when turned upside down.
They banged the pattonkai, two pieces of carved wood known as a wellow wellow, and their booming tumba drums.
Senegal fans during the 2022 Fifa World Cup match between Ecuador and Senegal at Khalifa International Stadium on Tuesday
Supporter Alhadji Diedhiou, 39, predicted: ‘It will be a very difficult match but Senegal will win. The players are talented, confident and dynamic. Our duty is to always make noise so the team will win.’
Sidy Sagna, 47, said: ‘We will beat England and be happy. We are famous for our atmosphere before, during and after the match. We will create an ambiance in the stadium and we will win.’
Tonight’s clash is dubbed a ‘big-cat fight’ as the Three Lions face the Lions of Teranga, as the Senegalese squad is known.
The African champions stand in the way of England reaching the quarter-finals.
The French-speaking country’s fans are hoping their good luck DJ will help.
Stadium announcer Boubacar Diallo, known as DJ Boubs, will be there to hype up the crowd.
World Cup stadium DJ Tony Perry said: ‘Boubacar from Senegal – he may as well be the president of Senegal. He’s a god. All the fans are taking pictures with him, he’s such a lovely guy. He dances, he sings, he really gets the crowd going.’
In 2002, Senegal staged one of the greatest upsets in football as the unfancied World Cup debutants defeated then-reigning champions France in the tournament’s opening match.
Tonight’s clash is dubbed a ‘big-cat fight’ as the Three Lions face the Lions of Teranga, as the Senegalese squad is known. Pictured: Senegalese fan at the Al Bayt stadium
In Qatar, the authorities expect fewer England fans to attend tonight’s match than were in the country for the group stage.
More than 10,000 – including expats – were in Doha to see games against Iran, the USA and Wales. But officials think that figure will drop to about 7,000 for the tie with Senegal, with many hedging their bets and waiting to see if the Three Lions make it to the semi-final.
Although England have never played Senegal, there are familiar faces in the West Africans’ line-up. Ten members play in England, including Chelsea’s goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and defender Kalidou Koulibaly.
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