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Africa: Fans Hold On to Hope Despite No African World Cup Wins Yet

Washington — Senegal lost 2-0 to the Netherlands, Tunisia drew against Denmark, as did Morocco against Croatia. No Africa team victories yet, but fans in the United States aren’t discouraged. It’s early in World Cup play and teams still have chances to win and advance to the next phase.

It was undeniably heartbreaking for the fans of the Senegalese team to see the Lions of Teranga lose their first World Cup game against the Netherlands. But fans like Sadio Yaya Barry are keeping their hopes alive.

“I would like to congratulate the Senegalese team,” Barry, the president of the New York-based Association of Senegalese in America, told VOA. “It’s a very strong team. We know we lost the first game, but we do see a young team who are very dedicated, involved and motivated to win the game … the Senegalese played very well.”

He added that “people sometimes forget who is the Netherlands team. They are very strong in Europe.”

However, losing hurt even more when goalkeeper Edouard Mendy couldn’t stop two goals a few minutes before the end of the game.

The Senegalese suffered another loss as midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate had to leave the game after injuring a thigh muscle. This came after the team lost star player Sadio Mane before the start of the tournament, also because of injuries.

Other teams battled to draws, Tunisia against Denmark on Tuesday, and Morocco against Croatia on Wednesday.

Hassan Samrhouni, president of the Washington Moroccan-American Club, based in Washington, described the Wednesday draw as “a great start for Morocco. Remember, we are playing the runner-up team, which played the final at the last World Cup.” In 2018, Croatia played against France in the World Cup finals.