Sixteen years later, the 42-year-old guided his team to another opening win, against Poland, in only their second World Cup participation ever. He became the team's coach in 2015, and is now the only black head coach at the World Cup.
The result leaves the African nation, famous winners over defending champions France in the opening match of their last World Cup appearance in 2002, level with Japan who beat Colombia 2-1 at Mordovia Arena. This suggests that the traditional wisdom which says that European teams always win tournaments in their home continent is likely to hold firm again.
Japan and Senegal supporters at the FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation have become a viral hit after they were filmed cleaning up the stadium after their respective matches.
While gathering waste after a sporting event is customary in Japan, the spectators' actions came as a shock to football fans from other countries.
Even if you're not insane about sports, the World Cup often brings out the best stories of compassion and worldwide peace.
Colombia 1-2 Japan: Yuya Osako header seals emotional opening win
The Blue Samurai included the experienced duo of midfielder Shinji Kagawa and defender Yuto Nagatomo in their starting line-up. Colombia equalised six minutes before the interval when Juan Quintero's low free kick squeezed over the line.
Here are Senegalese fans collecting garbage after their match against Poland at Spartak Stadium in Moscow.
"It is good to see there is a black coach but, beyond football, it shows we have quality coaches".
"There's definitely been a decline", said former Nigeria worldwide Peter Odemwingie, who played at the past two World Cups and is now working as a BBC pundit. We won the 1996 Olympics by beating Brazil and Argentina with all their stars.
"But we fully trust our football, we have no hang-ups". "We face realities that are not there in other continents", he said, referring to infrastructure, budget and organisational problems.