Published: Wed, June 20, 2018
Sports | By Angie Alvarado

Poland left bemoaning bad luck against Senegal

Poland left bemoaning bad luck against Senegal

But playing in their second World Cup, Senegal showed a passion and physicality that their seeded opponents could not handle.

"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. It has four losses and three draws since beating Argentina in 1974.

Their coach, Aliou Cisse, who captained the team in the country's last World Cup adventure in 2002, said his side because "we were disciplined, compact and aggressive".

Lewandowski curled the free kick over the Senegal wall but Khadim Ndiaye - the only African-based player in Senegal's squad - pushed it away.

Sadio Mane started on the wing for Senegal with Mame Biram Diouf and M'Baye Niang leading the attack.

They clearly did view him as one of the world's best as they let him take two touches and calmly roll the ball to Everton's Idrissa Gueye, who then scuffed a 25-yard shot. But the Poland defender Thiago Cionek, near the penalty spot, lifted his right leg and deflected the ball past a wrong-footed Szczesny.

After top-scoring in European qualification with 16 goals, Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski will be Poland's key man in their opening tie against Senegal.

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

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.

Former Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny was beaten by a wicked deflection for Senegal's opener and the victor came after a weird mix-up when defender Jan Bednarek had not spotted injured striker M'Baye Niang returning to the pitch. Lewandowski has an enviable goalscoring record this season with 41 goals in 48 games in all competitions this season and will be looking to open his World Cup account against Senegal in Moscow.

Few would have predicted the results in the group, which put both favorites at the bottom.

Poland's and Senegal's soccer teams would do well to chase history.

The match was played at red-and-white Otkritie Arena, the 4-year-old home of Spartak Moscow, where Alexander Rukavishnikov's 25m bronze statue of Spartacus rises high.

They also conceded Africa's seventh goal from a set piece late in the second half, but were able to ride out the storm.

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