Senegal earned all three points in their Group H opener with a 2-1 win over Poland who struggled to get out of second gear. The African side ran out deserved winners despite allowing Poland back into the game late on. Leaving a lackluster Polish side with plenty of questions following an error-filled game.
Senegal Deserved Winners
In a game of few clear-cut chances. Senegal capitalised on Polish errors to become the first African side to win a game at this summer’s tournament. Aliou Cisse’s side played with good purpose and intent, playing well enough to trouble Poland but wayward in their finishing.
The Lions of Teranga were gifted the goals they were struggling to grab by themselves. Their first courtesy of a huge deflection, whilst their second came in comical fashion. M’Baye Niang sprinted back on to the field of play after injury and immediately intercepted Grzegorz Krychowiak’s backpass from midfield. Beating former Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny to the ball before slotting it into the open goal.
The first round of games has blown Group H wide open with favoured sides Poland and Columbia both losing their opening games. Senegal pounced on their slow-starting counterparts, giving them a chance to get beyond the group stage.
Poland Out of Sorts
Despite being the seeded team in Group H, Poland failed to live up to their billing. Grzegorz Krychowiak gave Adam Nawalka’s side hope with a brilliantly taken header five minutes from time. But Poland never looked like getting anything from the game as chances came few and far between.
Poland struggled to penetrate Senegal’s defensive pairing of Salif Sane and Kalidou Koulibaly. Robert Lewandowski was heavily marked, the striker posed little threat to the Senegal goal. He needs much better service if he is to help Poland recover from their terrible start and progress beyond the group stage.
The Polish side were disappointing in all areas and will expect to improve before they face Columbia in their second group game.
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