Poland's mishaps help Senegal claim first African win

Friday, 22 Jun, 2018

Senegal defeated Group H favourites Poland 2-1 at the World Cup on Tuesday thanks to an own goal and and a controversial second strike.

Senegal earned their stake as Africa's only hope at the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament in Russian Federation following their win against Poland.

The Torino winger won the ball on the halfway line and fed Mane who rolled it sideways to Everton striker Gueye, whose shot skewed off Cionek's leg and into the net.

Senegal doubled the lead when M'Baye Niang took advantage of a mix-up between Grzegorz Krychowiak and Wojciech Szczesny to finish easily as Niang returned to the pitch from an injury.

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.

The Senegalese battle joint-group H leaders' Japan in their next feature at the ongoing 2018 FIFA World Cup on June 24, at the Central Stadium, Yekaterinburg.

Senegal's players celebrate their win over Poland.

"France and Senegal have a history", said Cisse, who captained the 2002 team.

Thiago Cionek deflects the ball into his own net to make it 1-0 to Senegal
Thiago Cionek deflects the ball into his own net to make it 1-0 to Senegal

Poland came into the game with only one opening-day win at a World Cup finals, which came in the 1974 edition, while Senegal returned after a 16-year absence.

Despite Krychowiak's late reply, Poland never really looked like snatching a point and must now pick themselves up for the match against Colombia on Sunday.

With the letters of "Senegal" painted at the chests, wearing a hat each and a pant each of Senegalese colours and their face screaming the country's colours, seven supporters stood in the centre cheering for their team aloud.

Poland's previous World Cup appearance was in Germany in 2006, when they did not get past the group stage. "I'm getting phone calls from everywhere".

Senegal grew in confidence after that goal and went into the break brimming with confidence.

Not only is Krychowiak built like a bulldozer, he moved like one too and Sadio Mane, Mbaye Niang and Idrissa Gueye enjoyed miles of space once they completed the simple task of slipping past the Poland man. "People do believe in our team, and they are proud and we are also proud to represent Africa".

"But it does not change the fact that we lacked concentration at the beginning of the second half, because it seems that we could have played a different game, if they hadn't scored the second". As Poland pushed for an equaliser, Khadim Ndiaye dived to his left to parry Lewandowski's free kick, and Piszczek put an open shot into the side net in the 56th.