Senegal have recorded the first African win at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, beating Poland 2-1 at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow. It evoked memories of their most recent World Cup campaign – their debut 16 years ago – in which they defeated holders France in Seoul in their opening match.
The Poles are not quite as huge a scalp as Les Bleus, but the African side were underdogs nevertheless, and belied that status with their energetic performance. Idrissa Gueye’s low drive was deflected into his own net by Thiago Cionek, but the Teranga Lions were good value for their lead. Mbaye Niang seized an opportunity in the hesitant Poland defence to round Wojciech Szczesny and double his side’s advantage after the break.
Grzegorz Krychowiak’s decision-making was partly to blame for Senegal’s second and he made some amends by reducing the arrears with a late goal. But it was ultimately in vain as Aliou Cisse’s side held on to claim three points – their first World Cup win since Cisse captained the side to victory against Sweden in the Korea/Japan 2002 Round of 16.