Senegal upset Poland with a 2-1 Group H victory in Moscow that owed plenty to poor mistakes from the European nation.
Thiago Cionek’s own goal, the defender deflecting in a shot from Idrissa Gueye, handed Senegal the lead in the 37th minute. Senegal doubled their lead when M’Baye Niang took advantage of a mix-up between Grzegorz Krychowiak and Wojciech Szczesny to finish with ease.
Poland though set up an exciting finish when Krychowiak somewhat made amends from his error by heading home a Kamil Grosicki free-kick, but they could not find a late leveller.
Poland will need to make amends when they take on Colombia – who surprisingly lost to Japan on Tuesday – while Senegal have qualification for the next phase in their sights.
Senegal’s victory added to the drama in what is suddenly a tumultuous Group H. The Africans and Japan both have wins now, and Colombia and Poland, which surely thought they’d fight one another for first place, and both looking up. They will meet Sunday in Kazan in what is now an incredibly important game for both of them. But the results in Group H also have consequences for Group G, which will face the survivors in the round of 16.
The Lions of Teranga also became the first African nation to pull of a win in an opening round of the group stages at this year’s World Cup. This now puts them in a good position to make their way into the next round.