Sideline controversy as Senegal glide past Poland

Sideline controversy as Senegal glide past Poland

Sideline controversy as Senegal glide past Poland

Krychowiak would get one back with a header in the 86th minute but, as Nawalka would admit after the game, it was not almost enough on a bad day at the office for the European side.

But while their two goals carried more than an element of fortune, Senegal were much the better side, looking controlled in midfield and more dynamic in attack, and that's what appeared to irk the Bayern Munich forward the most.

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

The Poland goalkeeper was more reminiscent of the former Arsenal stopper than the player who has reinvented himself as Gianluigi Buffon's understudy at Juventus. The answer was no, which meant a start for Cionek.

Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia had been outscored 6-1 as African teams started 0-4. Having belted out their own anthem, the Poles sportingly applauded Senegal's "Pincez tous vos koras, frappez les balafons", or "Strum your koras, bang the balafons". Adam Nawalka's side looked short of ideas and imagination throughout, barely fashioning any chances of note from open play and relying on an admittedly wonderful header from a set-piece to get on the scoresheet.

It was the sort of match where such distractions were welcome.

38' - GOAL! Poland 0-1 Senegal: Niang plucks the ball out of the air, wriggles off a challenge to drive forward and passes to Mane.

Speaking of Niang, he's now had one shot at a World Cup and used it to score his first ever global goal.

Striker M'Baye Niang controlled the ball ahead of an advancing goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny before tapping into an empty net. Cionek, near the penalty spot, lifted his right leg and deflected the ball past Szczesny's other side for the fourth own-goal of the tournament. Senegal's bands went ballistic.

Unlike some of the ofter African teams at this tournament, Senegal played to their strengths.

But worse was to come for Poland on the hour.

Krychowiak sent a long ball back from deep inside the Senegal half and Szczęsny rushed out of his area to collect the pass, but Niang stole in to score to Polish disbelief.

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.

Then came an unusual goal. This, obviously, was Senegal's first shot on target.

Arkadiusz Milik hit a first-time effort wide from close range in the 70th minute and four minutes from time, Poland pulled a goal back through Krychowiak as he rose highest to meet Kamil Grosicki's free-kick and power in his header. But the protests were sternly ignored by the Bahraini official.

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