World Cup match report Poland v Senegal 19 June 2018

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Senegal became the first African team ti register a victory at the 2018 FIFA World Cup after beating Poland 2-1 in the opening fixture.

"OK, it's important to get off to a good start but the second and third matches are important as well, so hopefully Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Nigeria will step up".

An own goal from Thiago Cionek and a second-half tap in from M'Baye Niang gave Senegal a two-goal lead and although Grzegorz Krychowiak halved the deficit late on, Aliou Cisse's Lions of Teranga held on for victory.

Poland's record scorer Robert Lewandowski got little change out of a well-drilled Senegal defense, led by Kalidou Koulibaly, and they sorely missed key defender Kamil Glik, still recovering from a training injury sustained two weeks ago.

Senegal's players celebrate their win over Poland. "We also made a lot of simple mistakes, which makes it hard to attack".

"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 was a sign of things to come, as the youthful Senegalese legs began to take up the ascendancy over a stale Poland outfit.

In fairness to Krychowiak, he had been unaware of Niang's loitering as the forward had only just been waved back onto the pitch by the referee. Senegal will hope to emulate the pioneering team of 2002 captained by Cisse, now the national coach. Concerns were raised before the game about Senegal's lack of creativity up front and it was very obvious as the game wore on. "Every time they made a mistake we were able to find the movement we needed and get back at them". The Everton forward didn't hesitate to pull the trigger, his shot ricocheting off Cionek, who was credited with an own goal after the ball rolled past a helpless Wojciech Szczesny.

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His driving let him down thereafter, but he fought off a bogey at the par-4 14th with a birdie at the par-5 16th. He played the next 11 holes in level par before making his move with three birdies in four holes.

It was the always-dangerous Niang who was at the heart of Senegal's opening goal.

Lewandowski sprang into life five minutes after halftime as he won possession, burst clear and was up-ended by Salif Sané.

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Poland appeared to be coming back into the game until the embarrassing mishap on the hour.

Poland are unbeaten in their three games against African opposition at the World Cup (W1 D2).

They also conceded Africa's seventh goal from a set piece late in the second half, but were able to ride out the storm. "We weren't dynamic or co-ordinated".

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