MOSCOW – Senegal defeated Poland in the opening game of Group H with a 2-1 win to put lots of pressure on the European side.
Kamil Glik missed out with a shoulder injury while there were no real surprises in the Senegal lineup; Sadio Mane headlined the attack for the Africans.
The majority of the first half was a midfield-battle with both teams trying to control the tempo. Senegal were very dangerous on the wings with Ismaïla Sarr on the left and Mbaye Niang on the right.
A first half which saw little-to-no action ended with Senegal leading 1-0 after Idrissa Gana Gueye’s shot deflected off Thiago Cionek for an own goal to give the Africans a 1-0 lead going into the break.
First half stats:
Possession: Poland 55% – 45% Senegal
Shots (On Target): Poland 3 (0) – 5 (0) Senegal
Fouls: Poland 4 -5 Senegal
Corners: Poland 1 – 2 Senegal
Passes: Poland 212 – 164 Senegal
Jakub Blaszczykowski came off at half time with an injury and was replaced by Jan Bednarek.
Robert Lewandowski had a good chance to level the game up in the 50th minute, but his free kick that was bound for the top corner was saved by Khadim N’Diaye.
The game went from bad to worse for Poland when Niang’s pace got him in behind the defence, he then played the ball over the keeper and tapped it in the empty net to make it 2-0.
Poland almost pulled one back in the 70th minute when Arkadiusz Millik’s shot just went wide of the near post.
The Polish made it 2-1 in the 87th minute when Grzegorz Krychowiak headed home from a set-piece to make it an anxious final few minutes.
Some late pressure from Poland wasn’t enough as they fell 2-1 to Senegal in the opening game of the group and will play Colombia next, while Senegal play Japan.
Possession: Poland 62% – 38% Senegal
Shots (On Target): Poland 11 (4) – 8 (2) Senegal
Fouls: Poland 8 -15 Senegal
Corners: Poland 3 – 3 Senegal