FIFA World Cup 2018: Poland vs. Senegal (Everything about the Match)

This is the 16th Match in the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 going on in Russia.

Poland and Senegal will slug it out in the Group H at 4 p.m. BST/11 a.m. ET

_____Score: Poland 0 2 Senegal_____

Commentary:

90′ + 4′ FULL-TIME: POLAND 1-2 SENEGAL
90′ + 3′ A throw-in deep in Senegal territory for Poland allows them to put a blinding cross into the box, looking for Lewandowski’s header; Khadim N’Diaye lands a flying punch now to send the ball flying away from danger. One more minute…
90′ + 1′ Poland win themselves a corner now, and swing it in quickly; Khadim N’Diaye makes a great diving take to pick it out though. Senegal hold on for now.
90′ Koulibaly fouls Bednarek in the box as they jostle for the corner and Poland get a free-kick. We’re in for four added minutes at Spartak Stadium.
89′ Senegal win themselves a corner now off Cionek; can they put this game to bed with a third goal?
87′ Alfred N’Diaye makes way for Cheikhou Kouyate as Senegal use their final substitute.
86′ Grosicki turned in that free-kick beautifully and Senegal just switched off at the back for a moment there. That complacency could be their undoing if Poland can find another. Suddenly, this game is back on.
86′ POLAND PULL ONE BACK! 2-1 TO SENEGAL! Krychowiak heads home a free-kick from eight yards out on the left, in at the right post with a deft touch and suddenly, Poland are in touching distance of a vital point. Four minutes left on the clock for them to snatch something in Moscow; they trail by a goal.
84′ Senegal think they have a penalty shout, and tempers flare between both sets of players after the referee waves it away. Replays show it to be the right decision; the game plays on after a moment with a goal kick.
83′ Poland make their final change with Piszczek replaced by Bartosz Bereszynski.
82′ Lewandowski and Rybus combine in the box as the former bursts into life for a moment with a little bit of magic to get around three Senegal defenders, yet the pass from the former to the latter is flagged as offside.
80′ Kownacki rises up to meet a Rybus square cross bulleted in from the left, but can only plant his header straight to the keeper.
78′ Poland’s midfield has, for most of this game, looked to be out of ideas, sluggish and stocky in the middle. Shy of something special, they’ve taken a big knock to their hopes of topping Group H today.
75′ That knock is proving too painful for Niang; Moussa Konate replaces him as the goalscorer leaves to applause from the Senegal fans.
73′ Poland make another swap now; Milik departs and Dawid Kownacki arrives in his place.
72′ Gueye brings down Krychowiak just inside the centre circle and is duly given a yellow card for his challenge. Niang appears to be in a bit of trouble too for Senegal; he is gingerly regaining his feet after an earlier challenge.
70′ Milik! The Poland man just clips a flat pass at the near-right post wide from Piszczek after slipping in around the back. The time to pull a result out of the hat is running out.
68′ Zielinski wastefully spurns a cross wide of Lewandowski and Senegal have no trouble picking it off in their box. No Poland attack is looking sharp since that goal; on the touchline, Nawalka looks pensive.

62′ Substitution Mame Biram Diouf Cheikh N’Doye
60′ Goal M’Baye Babacar Niang
58′ Niang goes down under a high challenge and a moment later, Diouf fouls Krychowiak. Poland are the ones awarded a free-kick, 40 yards out.
56′ Piszczek! The Poland man has a great chance to level the scores as Rybus tips a lovely flat cross wide to the right of the box from the left flank, but the defender fails to catch it on the volley and smothers it wide instead.
54′ Diouf should have made it two for Senegal! The striker is met by a lovely cut-back 10 yards out, and stumbles over the ball, allowing Piszczek to take it away. Niang looks to claim it back quickly but instead fouls the Poland man and concedes a free-kick.
52′ Down the other end, Mane arrives into the Poland box to blast a Diouf cut-back into the legs of Pazdan as Senegal create a swift counter-attack, with the deflection spilling to Cionek who clears deep.
50′ Save from Khadim N’Diaye! Lewandowski lofts the free-kick over the defensive wall and guides it towards the top-right corner, only for a flying leap from the Senegal keeper to push it wide and into open play.
49′ Lewandowski picks the pocket of Gueye inside the centre circle and cuts a direct path downfield towards the Senegal box. Sane comes across and effectively bodychecks him 25 yards out; he is duly booked and Poland have a free-kick in a dangerous position.
48′ Poland look like they have a half-chance as they slip through a gap on the left, with Zielinski delivering a pass to Rybus, only for the offside flag to be duly raised out on the other side of the pitch.
47′ With barely a minute on the pitch, Bednarek goes down under a high challenge in his own box after Niang lofts a cross in. He gets back to his feet after a few moments following treatment by the medical staff and is good to continue.
46′ …having struggled with a knock for much of that first half, Błaszczykowski has been duly replaced by Jan Bednarek. Will he be the key to a comeback in Moscow?
46′ We’re back underway at Spartak Stadium and there is a change for Poland…
Expect Poland to potentially make some changes to their rather central bearing midfield at the break as the look to cover the gaps out on the wings exploited by Senegal. As for Ailou Cisse’s team? They may introduce an additional defensive player at around the hour mark if their lead remains, in order to sit back and defend their advantage.
An Idrissa Guye strike that took a big deflection for a Thiago Cionek own-goal is the difference at Spartak Stadium between Poland and Senegal at the break, but it has been an uninspired showing from Robert Lewandowski and his side in Moscow. Unable to get good service from his midfield, the Bayern Munich forward has been mostly an isolated figure as Sadio Mane’s team have outmuscled them in the centre of the pitch – and now they must overcome a one-goal deficit in order to get their World Cup campaign back on track. At half-time, it’s Poland 0-1 Senegal.



45′ + 2′ HALF-TIME: POLAND 0-1 SENEGAL
45′ There’s two added minutes on the way in Moscow.
43′ Niang brings down Piszczek with a hasty challenge and Poland will win themselves a free-kick out on the right wing, just inside their own half.
42′ It’s nearly two goals in five minutes for Senegal; on the back of a corner conceded by Pazdan, Sane heads Niang’s set-piece play wide at the near-right post after being left unmarked. Poland look all at sea around the back after that opener.
39′ The stats may favour Poland so far, but that is a richly deserved lead for Senegal who have brought more spark into this match than their opponents. The Euro 2016 quarter-finalists are lacking the quality required to break forward and into the final third with any real menace.
37′ GOAL FOR SENEGAL! It’s a strike from Idrissa Gueye, on the back of some lovely interplay from Niang and Mane, that gives the Lions of Teranga the lead but it will go down as an own goal for Thiago Cionek following a massive deflection that wrong-foots Szczesny and careers into the bottom-right corner. Poland are a goal down with eight minutes left in the first half.
36′ There has yet to be a shot on target in this game; the only other match in this World Cup that failed to register such an effort in the first half was Croatia against Nigeria.
34′ Or will they? Diouf spurns a golden chance to head home an opening goal for Senegal as his just leaps under a cross squared in from Sabaly out on the right wing, though a belated flag from the linesman would have nixed any potential score regardless.
32′ It’s been an even-keeled affair for the most part – but both sides are missing a killer instinct right now. There’s no real sense of danger that either will find a breakthrough before half-time.

30′ Lewandowski nips into the Senegal box seeking a long ball put in from the left wing; it bounces kindly for keeper Khadim N’Diaye however and he has no trouble snaffling it from under the Bayern Munich man’s nose.
28′ Poland’s more direct approach of the last ten minutes has seen them gain an upswing in time on the ball; they currenly have a shade over 60 percent possession.
26′ Wague clips Grosicki with a short challenge as the pair tussle for possession inside the Poland half; the latter comes up with a free-kick as a result.
24′ Alfred N’Diaye is the latest Senegal man to trouble the Polish defence and another communication error opens up a gap for him. His effort comes to nothing though, spilling wide under belated pressure; Szczesny gets the goal-kick.
23′ Lewandowski finally has a crack at goal for Poland – and puts it well wide, hooking his left-footed effort out at the far post.
22′ That’s more like it fom Poland; Zielinski tips a ball into the Senegal box on the right that sweeps over the defence and finds Grosicki who just heads it over the crossbar.
20′ Poland are looking prone to switching off in both attack and defence so far; they haven’t been able to supply Lewandowski with the deliveries he needs, and now Pazdan clears a Senegal cross into the box by almost kicking his own goalkeeper in the face. They need to sort out their communication, and fast.
18′ What a chance for Senegal! Sabaly picks out a loose pass from Zielinski inside his own half and breaks into a run down the left flank, stepping in off the wing to clip a fabulous ball through for Niang. Level with two defenders and with only the keeper to beat, he skews it somewhere between a shot and a square pass, and the ball flies out wide by the far-right post. A frustrating finish to a fantastic piece of play.
16′ Senegal think they have a shout for a penalty after Rybus clips Diouf inside the Poland box with both in pursuit of a Niang through-ball; the referee waves it away and VAR does not subsequently intervene either.
14′ Down the other end, Koulibaly concedes a corner under pressure from Lewandowski, who has been kept rather quiet so far by Senegal. Poland swing it in flat and low, only for Milik to lose it to Sabaly on the edge of the box, who clears deep and away from danger.
13′ Sane steps up to take and duly curls it over the wall and well wide of the goal to the left. It’s a maddening effort from the defender, and Poland have a goal-kick.
12′ Having been dispossessed by Mane, Krychowiak lunges after Niang and gets the ball back; yet the referee deems the latter tackle to be a foul and duly books the Poland man to his anger. Free-kick 30 or so yards out slightly to the left for Senegal…
10′ Despite looking a little loose around the back in the opening minutes, Senegal have settled the better of the pair in Moscow. Mane looks to slip a pass through into the left of the Poland box, around Cionek for Diouf; he doesn’t get the weight behind it though and the striker oversteps the ball, allowing Szczesny to claim.
8′ Blaszczykowski is flagged for offside as Poland look to alleviate the pressure on their defence with a long ball down the right; Sabaly traps him smartly and wins his side the free-kick.
7′ Senegal’s corner only finds the first man and Poland look to have survived the attack, only for Niang to dart back in with a loose pass on the left. He tries to curl it back towards the centre of the box, seeking Mane; Szczesny dives low off his line to claim before it can reach the striker.
6′ Cionek gives a needless corner away for Poland now after Diouf ran him close into the box; the Senegal forward slipped, yet the defender still opted to head out rather than to his keeper.
4′ It’s a cagey opening from Poland, who probe down the middle before going left instead from halfway. A nice cut-back cross is tipped in for Blaszczykowski; Sane gets in under his feet to sweep the ball away from danger.
2′ Some loose passing around the back of their defence causes a momentary worry for Senegal, but Sane and Wague manage to create a fluid move down the right channel to lift the pressure off their back third of the field.
1′ We’re underway in Moscow! Match referee Nawaf Shukralla blows the whistle and Senegal put the ball straight towards the Polish defence where Rybus has little difficulty turning his sudden possession into a swift counter-attack for his side.



 

The teams have emerged at Spartak Stadium for the national anthems. The heavy rain that drenched Moscow in the build-up to the game appears to have abated for now, though conditions may be a little slippery underfoot.
Senegal meanwhile are also unbeaten in their previous group stage appearance in 2002; aside from that famous victory against France, they also drew against Denmark and Uruguay to claim second place and progress to the round of 16, where they also defeated Sweden.
Poland have met – and are undefeated against – African opposition on three previous occasions at the World Cup; Tunisia in 1978, Cameroon in 1982 and Morocco in 1986. Combined, the trio of encounters have produced only a single goal; a winning strike from Grzegorz Lato against Tunisia.
Whilst Mane may have only picked up a single goal in qualification, in a 2-2 draw against Burkina Faso, the Liverpool forward helped his country arrive in Russia with an unbeaten record; they won four and drew two in a group including former hosts South Africa as they progressed to their sophomore tournament.

The effect of captain Lewandowski on Poland cannot be downplayed; the Bayern Munich star was the top scorer in the UEFA World Cup qualifiers with 16 goals, netting 56% of his side’s total haul on the road to Russia. Only one other player scored more than once; Kamil Grosicki mustered three.
Senegal’s return has taken even longer; it’s been 16 years since their only previous appearance, at South Korea and Japan 2002. On that occasion, they shocked the world, defeating reigning champions France in the group stage and making it to the quarter-finals where they fell to Turkey. Aliou Cisse was captain of the national side that day; now, he takes charge of his second major tournament as manager, having guided his team to the quarter-finals of the 2017 African Cup of Nations.
It’s taken over a decade for Poland to get back to the World Cup, having last competed in Germany 2006, but the wait very well may be worth it; since taking charge in 2013, manager Adam Nawałka has led taken them to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 and a top-ten place in the FIFA World Rankings that sees them as the top seed in Group H. They haven’t been out of the group stages for 32 years though, since Mexico 1986; can they bag three points against their opponents today to set them on the path to breaking their streak?
Subs: Cheikh N’Doye, Moussa Sow, Alfred Gomis, Adama Mbengue, Abdoulaye Diallo, Diafra Sakho, Keita, Lamine Gassama, Cheikhou Kouyate, Badou Ndiaye, Kara, Moussa Konate
SENEGAL (4-4-2): Khadim N’Diaye; Kalidou Koulibaly, Salif Sane, Youssouf Sabaly, Moussa Wague; Alfred N’Diaye, M’Baye Niang, Ismaila Sarr, Idrissa Gueye; Mame Biram Diouf, Sadio Mane
Subs: Dawid Kownacki, Bartosz Bialkowski, Rafal Kurzawa, Jan Bednarek, Artur Jedrzejczyk, Lukasz Teodorczyk, Bartosz Bereszynski, Jacek Goralski, Karol Linetty, Kamil Glik, Slawomir Peszko, Lukasz Fabianski
POLAND (4-5-1): Wojciech Szczesny; Lukasz Piszczek, Maciej Rybus, Thiago Cionek, Michal Pazdan; Jakub Blaszczykowski, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Arkadiusz Milik, Kamil Grosicki, Piotr Zielinski; Robert Lewandowski
As for the rest of the lineups, both teams have named strong starting XIs for their first game of the tournament; defender Kamil Glik is the only major absentee for Poland, named on the bench as he continues to recover from a shoulder knock, whilst Senegal name two further English-based players alongside Liverpool’s Mane in the shape of Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye and Stoke striker Mame Biram Diouf.
Team news as we await kick-off in Moscow, and both sides will be led from the front by their captains and star strikers. Like England and Harry Kane, Poland and Senegal’s talismanic forwards Robert Lewandowski and Sadio Mane will carry the hopes of their respective nations in Russia – and both start up front today.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the 2018 World Cup in Russia as Poland and Senegal wrap up the first round of fixtures in the group stages with a clash at Spartak Stadium in Moscow. The pair face off the for this time in their history in the second match of Group H today – and with Japan springing an upset victory over 2014 quarter-finalists Colombia in Saransk, will either of them snare a win in the capital to join them in the race for the round of 16?

GOAL

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