Published: Wed, June 20, 2018
Sport | By Patty Hardy

Poland stunned by Senegal in World Cup opener

Poland stunned by Senegal in World Cup opener

Senegal became the first African team ti register a victory at the 2018 FIFA World Cup after beating Poland 2-1 in the opening fixture.

Krychowiak needlessly hooked a high ball back toward his own goal from inside the Senegal half and with Szczesny attempting to intercept by coming out of his penalty area, Niang gleefully knocked the ball into an unguarded goal.

"I don't know if you get an award for that, Jon, but it's something Federation Internationale de Football Association should look into", he said with full sincerity. Poland heroics were last seen in 1974 and 1982 World Cup when they finished at third place.

As a result, Senegal now sits atop Group H, tied with Japan, while Colombia and Poland are tied with zero points. With Colombia and Japan the other teams in Group H, it's shaping up to be one of the more balanced quartets in the competition.

The match started against a backdrop of red and white flags, shirts and painted cheeks, as Polish fans outnumbered Senegal's by about 20 to one.

Poland now have to get something out of their second match against Colombia or face a swift return from Russian Federation.

Poland, who are now ranked eight in FIFA rankings, will take on Senegal, who will be returning to the FIFA World Cup after a gap of 16 years.

Poland fans in red and white were about three-quarters of the crowd, and they chanted and clapped throughout.

Niang had been on the sidelines getting treated for an injury and when the ref motioned him to return to the field, he sprinted directly towards the action with Poland's Jan Bednarik completely unaware. The Senegal midfielder passed to Gueye, whose right-footed shot from the arc headed toward Szczesny's far post.

Cisse conceded there was an element of luck as Senegal benefited from a deflected Thiago Cionek own goal and a bad error by 'keeper Wojciech Szczesny, but said the Polish mistakes came through pressure exerted by his team.

Niang was a constant threat to Poland's backline as he caused Lukasz Piszczek and Cionek plenty of problems on the left side.

Then came an unusual goal.

What neither he nor the dawdling Bednarek spotted was that Niang had just been waved back on the pitch by the referee after some treatment.

Combined well with Niang in the build-up to Senegal's opener, and created two goalscoring chances.

Krychowiak scored from a free kick by Kamil Grosicki from about 35 yards, but Ndiaye made the lead hold up when grabbed a corner kick in stoppage time. 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.

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