Senegal takes advantage of Polish miscues


Photo Credit: Getty Images/FIFA

Senegal 2 – Poland 1

Neither Senegal nor Poland took advantage of their big superstars as they would’ve perhaps have liked.

Robert Lewandowski had a forgettable first World Cup game.

Sadio Mane likewise was neutralized overall by the Polish defense in his first World Cup match as well.

So the opening game came down to which supporting cast took advantage of their own moments of opportunity.

Poland changed to a four back line, despite operating with a three back-line the previous series of friendlies. 

Poland also didn’t take any risks with the lineup. New talent like Jan Bednarek and Dawid Kownacki are more capable compared to more mainstays such as Michal Pazdan and Arkadiusz Milik.

In comparison, Senegal was resourceful and smart. Their manager Aliou Cisse, the only black coach in this World Cup had a far better game plan by having belief in his Senegal.  It should also be noted Cisse played for Senegal in their last World Cup in 2002.  

In that tournament Senegal defeated France in their opening game 1-0 by taking their chances and being aggressive. He took a similar approach in this match against Poland and it paid off. 

First, you have to shoot to score which Poland did about none of. Senegal’s Everton player Idrissa Gueye took a shot that found Thiago Cionek’s boot and then the back of the net.

Despite Poland having about 60% of the possession at the time, Senegal did more. Cisse also had perfect timing. Like a Spielberg or Mozart in front of his symphony. Senegal were going to make a sub and then brought the sub back at the correct time.  But then at the same time got their injured player, Torino man M’Baye Niang back on the field at the correct time as a breakaway which led to the winning goal.

Niang’s first goal for Senegal made the score 2-0.

As a Polish fan, I thought well that’s so typically Poland. 

More talent compared to the 2002 and 2006 versions but still finding a way not to succeed. 

It wasn’t just Lewandowski. Błaszczykowski, Zielinski, Grosicki, Milik were all in first gear. 

The only player for Poland who had a game was Paris St. Germain’s West Brom loanee Grzegorz Krychowiak.

They may all want to ask him how they should play from here on in. 

Senegal, on the other side of things, is better than Japan and I believe will be onto the knockout stages after their next game. 


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