FIFA World Cup 2018: Senegal secure a historic win over Poland
Senegal upset Poland with a 2-1 Group H victory in Moscow that owed plenty to poor mistakes from the European nation. Poland were widely expected to qualify for the knockout rounds. But after suffering a seventh loss in their last nine World Cup matches, they are in danger of making an early exit.
Thiago Cionek’s own goal, the defender deflecting in a shot from Idrissa Gueye, handed Senegal the lead in the 37th minute.
Senegal doubled their lead when Niang took advantage of a mix-up between Krychowiak and Wojciech Szczesny to finish with ease. Krychowiak somewhat made amends for his error by heading home a Kamil Grosicki free-kick. But they could not find a late leveller.
Poland will need to make amends when they take on Colombia – who surprisingly lost to Japan. While, Senegal have qualification for the next phase in their sights.
A slow start saw neither side gain control of the midfield until Senegal had the first clear chance in the 18th minute. The African side gradually started to dominate but the opening goal had a large slice of good fortune.
Cionek’s own goal ensured Poland’s 32-year wait for a clean sheet at the World Cup goes on. Poland captain Robert Lewandowski was Europe’s top scorer in qualifying with 16 goals. Khadim N’Diaye acrobatically dived to turn the ball away when it came across him during the 33rd minute.
While the Senegal first was unlucky for Poland, they were architects of their own downfall for the decisive second, handing Niang his first international goal on the hour mark.
Yet Senegal held on to their advantage in a nervy finish.It left the Euro 2016 quarter-finalists with plenty to do if they are to qualify from a wide-open group.
Poland will face Colombia next while Senegal will face Japan in the thrilling Group H.
FT: Poland 1-2 Senegal
Krychowiak 86′ | Cionek 37′ (OG) Niang 60′
Saif Ahmed Chowdhury
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