Senegal Edge Poland, Claims Africa’s First Win In Russia 2018
19 June, 2018, 23:28 | Author: Lamar Ellis
Mbaye Niang seized an opportunity in the hesitant Poland defence to round Wojciech Szczesny and double his side's advantage after the break. It's Poland's best passage of play, but they fail to make it count.
Senegal will led by West Ham midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate but all eyes will be on forward Sadio Mane, who is coming into the World Cup off the back of a trailblazing season with Liverpool, also scoring in the UEFA Champions League final.
The seeded team in the group, Poland had been hoping to inflict a fifth straight defeat on Russian Federation 2018's African contingent but they did not account for their opponents' tactical discipline or good fortune.
The opening goal was in keeping with everything the crowd had seen for the first 37 minutes but for one subtle difference: Mane had moved inside. Poland now is FIFA's eighth-ranked team, while Senegal is several notches below at 27th. Poland returned for the first time since 2006.
In a tightly-fought contest, Thiago Cionek's unfortunate own goal (37) handed Senegal the lead before their advantage was doubled through M'Baye Niang (60), who capitalised on a poor backpass from Grzegorz Krychowiak to score his first worldwide goal.
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Krychowiak sent a long ball back from deep inside the Senegal half, Szczesny rushed out of his area to collect the pass but Niang stole in to score to Polish disbelief. He took the free kick himself and although he managed Poland's first shot on target, it was saved by Khadim N'Diaye. Niang had been off the field for treatment after Jan Bednarek stomped on a foot.
Then came an unusual goal.
Poland and Senegal face off in the second Group H match at the FIFA World Cup 2018 in what promises to be a thrilling encounter, given the quality of players on display on both sides. Referee Nawaf Shukralla of Bahrain, a veteran of two World Cup matches in 2014, waved Niang to come back on the field just as Krychowiak lofted a backpass from the centre circle to Szczesny.
The match was played at red-and-white Otkritie Arena, the 4-year-old home of Spartak Moscow, where Alexander Rukavishnikov's 25m bronze statue of Spartacus rises high.
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