Football

Teranga Lions roar to first African win at Russia 2018

Sadio Mane and Senegal got their World Cup campaign off to a winning start on Tuesday afternoon as they earned a 2-1 victory over Poland in Moscow.
Named in Aliou Cisse’s starting XI as captain, the Liverpool wideman played 90 minutes as his country claimed top spot in Group H with three important points.
Mane played a key role in Senegal’s opener, teeing up Idrissa Gueye for a shot from distance that deflected in off Thiago Cionek to spark wild scenes of celebrations in the stands.
The African nation’s second owed more to a lapse in concentration from Poland, however, Grzegorz Krychowiak playing a blind backpass into the path of Mbiaye Niang, who beat the ‘keeper to the ball before slotting into an empty net.
Krychowiak went some way to making amends for his error with four minutes of normal time remaining, heading in from free-kick to setup a grandstand finish.
However, Cisse’s men held on to record something of a surprise opening win.
Senegal have become the first African team to win a match at this summer’s 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.
The Bundesliga’s top scorer Robert Lewandowski suffered a disappointing World Cup debut as his Poland side were beaten 2-1 by Senegal. The European side fell behind on 38 minutes after an own goal by Thiago Cionek, who deflected an effort from Idrissa Gueye into his own net. The Polish defence also gave Senegal a helping hand for their second goal when M’Baye Niang took advantage of a mix-up between goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and Jan Bednarek to make it 2-0. Grzegorz Krychowiak did manage to get one back for the Poles with just minutes remaining.
Lewandowski played the full 90 minutes in Moscow, but found chances limited by the vigilance of the Senegalese defence. The Poland captain fired wide on the turn from the edge of the box halfway through the first half before Senegal goalkeeper Khadim N’Diaye saved the 29-year-old’s threatening free-kick shortly after the break.
The next task for Lewandowski and Poland is against his FCB teammate James Rodriguez and Colombia on Sunday (20.00 CEST). With both sides opening the tournament with defeats, the loser may be going home. Poland’s final group game is against Japan on Thursday (16.00).

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