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3:00 PM UTC Jun 19, 2018
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Sonko backs Senegal for Last 16

2018 World Cup
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Mane headlines Senegal's World Cup squad

Football
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Ibrahima Sonko backs Senegal for Last 16

Former Senegal international Ibrahima Sonko believes his countrymen will reach the knockout stages of the 2018 World Cup, but feels anything beyond that could be a stretch.

The Lions of Teranga open their account against Poland at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow on Tuesday, with Colombia and Japan the other teams in a competitive Group H.

"I see this Senegal team reaching the Last 16 because they are a good team that has been together for some time now," Sonko tells KweséESPN from Kampala, Uganda, where is he is a guest of the Uganda Revenue Authority Football Club.

"They will have to be at their best to make a good start against Poland because a good result in the opening match means a lot.

"Going past the quarters could be a little bit of a problem, but who knows ... anything is possible in football, especially when you believe in yourself."

Senegal are aiming to become the first African nation to reach the semi-finals, but face a difficult Last 16 encounter -- should they get there -- with either England or Belgium likely to be waiting.

The 37-year-old Sonko won five caps for Senegal during a career which saw him travel through England to represent the likes of Brentford, Reading, Stoke City, Hull City, Portsmouth and Ipswich Town.

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