Clement Diop is on the verge of going to the World Cup with Senegal
It was more than just an up and down season for LA Galaxy goalkeeper Clement Diop. While he made 15 starts for the Galaxy’s senior team and played over 1,300 minutes (both stats in which he led the team), he also conceded 31 goals and finished with the highest goals against average (GAA) on the team (2.10).
But despite his constant battle to keep the ball out of the net, Diop is on the verge of seeing his Senegal National Team qualify for the 2018 FIFA World cup in Russia — something the United States couldn’t do.
Diop has been called into the team to take place in two qualifiers with both of them being against South Africa.
The first will take place on Friday, November 10 at Peter Mokaba Stadium in South Africa before the return leg of the trip which will be played on Tuesday, November 14 at Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor in Senegal.
Senegal currently sits in first place in Africa’s Group D with eight points and are on the verge of qualifying for the World Cup. Burkina Faso (six points), Cape Verde Islands (six points), and South Africa (four points) round out the group.
Interestingly, the first game in this series is actually a makeup game. FIFA demanded a replay of the original matchup between these two teams when referee Joseph Lamptey of Ghana was found to have falsely awarded a penalty to South Africa that was then converted giving them their only win in the group. But afterward, the referee was found guilty of “unlawfully influencing match results” and was banned for life.
Even the court of arbitration for sport upheld the ban which cleared a path for FIFA to mandate a replay — an extreme result and one of the only times in recent memory where a game has been forced into being played again.
The win was pulled from South Africa and the game will take place as if the first match never happened. Both Senegal and South Africa have had any results from that original game deleted.
Diop, who is just 24 years of age, made his Senegalese debut on June 5 of this year by going 45-minutes in a scoreless draw in a friendly with Uganda. He has yet to make an appearance of any note in a qualifier.