Senegal Teranga Lions have become the first African team to win a match at the 2018 FIFA World Cup after Aliou Cisse’s men beat Poland 2-1 in Moscow on Tuesday.
Senegal opened the scoring 37 minutes in after Idrissa Gueye’s powerful shot on goal was deflected into the net off Polish defender Thiago Cionek.
Forward Mbaye Niang made it 2-0 on the hour mark. He capitalized on Poland midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak’s poor back pass, which left goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny stranded, and was left with the simplest of tasks to slot the ball into an empty net.
Krychowiak spared at least some of his blushes with minutes to go as he pulled one back for Poland with a header, but his effort was not enough as Senegal hung on for a 2-1 victory.
Senegal took full advantage of their opponents’ errors to beat Poland 2-1 in their opening Group H match, finally giving Africa something to cheer about at the World Cup as the group favourites failed to fire.
Leading thanks to a clumsy Thiago Cionek own-goal in a poor first half, M’Baye Niang put the game beyond the disjointed Poles on the hour, seizing on goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny’s decision to race out of his area to gather a long back pass. Niang showed pace and control to beat the keeper and covering defender Jan Bednarek before slotting home in an empty net.
Grzegorz Krychowiak, author of the wayward back pass, made partial amends with a header five minutes from time but it was too late.
The result leaves Senegal, famous winners over defending champions France in the opening match of their last World Cup appearance in 2002, level with Japan.