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20 June 2018, 04:51 | Tracey Rhodes
Senegal started their World Cup campaign in Russian Federation on a positive note as they picked up a surprising 2-1 victory over Poland in the Group F clash on Tuesday.
In a match billed as a straight fight between super-strikers Robert Lewandowski and Sadio Mane, neither scored but Liverpool striker Mane set up Idrissa Gueye for the shot that took a wicked deflection off Cionek, leaving Szczesny totally wrong-footed in the Polish goal for Senegal's opener on 37 minutes. Grzegorz Krychowiak pulled one back with four minutes of regulation time remaining, setting up a nervy finish.
As a result, Senegal now sits atop Group H, tied with Japan, while Colombia and Poland are tied with zero points.
Senegal coach Aliou Cisse refused to accept their 2-1 win over Poland on Tuesday was all down to errors by their opponents, saying discipline and faith in themselves as a new generation of African talent were key. In doing so, they became the first African team to win a match in this World Cup.
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Mbaye Niang celebrates Senegal's second goal, shrouded in controversy, against Poland in Moscow. Senegal will soon become a force to be reckoned with in Russian Federation if the centre-backs perform the way they did against Poland. Poland will be hoping for an improved performance against Colombia later that evening. The teams risk exposing themselves at the back, so we're expecting cautious attacking play from both teams that will yield no victor.
Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia all lost their opening games.
Senegal doubled the lead when M'Baye Niang took advantage of a mix-up between Grzegorz Krychowiak and Wojciech Szczesny to finish easily as Niang returned to the pitch from an injury.
Senegal knew what they needed to do thereafter, holding off Poland to take their advantage into the second half, when they tightened the back and still surged forward on the break. Robert Lewandowski's side have been unbeaten against African sides in their last three games and would like to keep that record intact against Senegal.
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