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   June 11, 2002 | 1740 IST


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Senegal not finished yet

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Steve Bryant

Each time they have surprised audiences at the World Cup, Senegal have promised it won't be the last.

Now through to the last 16 at their first World Cup finals and with a win over world champions France under their belt, the "Lions of Teranga" pledge more is to come.

"I'm really pleased to have made it to the last 16 and now we want to create a wonderful story for African football," said coach Bruno Metsu as his team of France-based players punched the air and whooped their way out of the Suwon stadium in South Korea.

"It's a victory for African football -- it's beautiful and it's a victory for the Senegalese people," said captain Aliou Cisse.

Khalilou FadigaSenegal emerged from their 3-3 draw with Uruguay on Tuesday fizzing with energy and excitement at the prospect of a trip to Japan for a second round match against England, Sweden or Argentina.

As ever, the team that stunned France with a 1-0 win and drew 1-1 with Denmark say they are not worried by their potential opponents and are determined to play their own game.

"The important thing is that we are now one of the 16 best teams in the world. It's a great honour... I hope that in four years time there will be more African teams in the same position." striker El Hadji Diouf said.


"Teranga" means "hospitality" in Senegal's local Wolof language and throughout the tournament the squad -- 21 of whom play in the French league -- have been keen to share their victories with the African continent.

But the hospitality has not been extended to opponents on the field, who have found that crunching midfield tackles can be quickly followed by explosive moves forward and highly efficient goal-scoring.

Uruguay coach Victor Pua said before the Senegal game that his opponents blended the experience of European soccer with the speed and physical strength of African football.

After Senegal had roared into a 3-0 lead at halftime, Uruguay did expose a weakness in the African side with a goal just 18 seconds into the second half that rocked the Africans and put them on the back foot for the rest of the game.

"We played a great first half and I was very happy, but I wasn't so happy when they pulled one back so quickly," said Metsu, the team's long-haired French coach.

Midfielder Khalilou Fadiga, an important provider who will miss the next match through suspension, agreed.

"We let them score very fast, very early in the second half and that was our biggest mistake," he said.

Fadiga admitted inexperience had been to blame for Senegal allowing Uruguay back into the game.

"We know that, we know that," he said. "It is something we have to work on."

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