Senegal beat Poland 2-1 in World Cup group game

20 June, 2018, 08:45 | Author: Anita Tucker
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Senegal's Sadio Mane and Ismaila Sarr, and Poland's Grzegorz Krychowiak in action at the FIFA World Cup at Spartak Stadium, Moscow on Tuesday.

Senegal became the first African team to win a match at the 2018 World Cup on Tuesday when they beat Poland 2-1, helped by an own goal from a Brazilian-born Polish defender and a nightmare moment for goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

An own goal by Thiago Cionek in the 37th minute put Senegal 1-0 up before Mbaye Niang capitalised on a poor back pass to double his side's lead.

A meaty Grzegorz Krychowiak header late on gave Poland a chance of a draw but they did not really deserve it and Senegal comfortably closed out the game.

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Senegal are making a comeback to the World Cup after their brilliant debut in 2002 where they beat defending champions France in the run to the quarter final stage, where they were eliminated by an equally brilliant Turkish side.

The Asian team overcame Colombia by the same score earlier in the day. Having watched all of their African rivals lose their opening group games, Senegal started on the front-foot and deserved their huge slice of luck. Lewandowski has an enviable goalscoring record this season with 41 goals in 48 games in all competitions this season and will be looking to open his World Cup account against Senegal in Moscow.

"Second goal - I do not know", said Poland defender Michał Pazdan. "Every time they made a mistake we were able to find the movement we needed and get back at them".

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.

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Their two goals may have been fortunate but Senegal were worthy winners of an entertaining encounter.

After top-scoring in European qualification with 16 goals, Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski will be Poland's key man in their opening tie against Senegal. Overall, it was a good display of midfield compactness and defensive solidity.

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Dawid Kownacki also sent a header too close to N'Diaye as the match edged closer to full time but with four minutes left, Poland finally got themselves back into the contest through Krychowiak, who powered a header into the far corner after meeting a deep set piece.

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"Statistically we had more of the ball but what counts is what ends up in the net".

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