World Cup: Senegal Dominates and Tops Poland in Soccer Thriller

-A +A

Senegal celebrates.

Senegal played thrilling soccer Tuesday and became the first out of five African countries so far to secure a victory in the World Cup tournament beating Poland 2-1.

In other games Tuesday Egypt's chances to reach the second round were dashed when Russia won 3-1. Japan beat Colombia 2-1; the South Americans lost a player in the third minute of play following a red card ejection.

It was Senegal though that provided the most exciting game of the day in their Group H play. They reminded soccer fans of how the Cameroun team of the Roger Milla era used to play with intricate passes and movement without the ball for positioning, one-two passing, sharp dribbles, fancy footwork, and dangerous runs towards the penalty box.

It was on one such run that a Senegalese forward received a pass from his left, calmly controlled the ball while pushing it ahead of him then taking a shot. While the strike by Idrissa Gueye itself wasn't crisp it bounced off the right leg of a Polish player, Thiago Cionek, who was running towards his goal and ended in the back of the net.

The Senegalese had far more scoring chances than the Poles and could have converted two more opportunities including one when a forward cutting into the box from the left side should have curled the ball with his right found into the right side of the back of the net.

In the second half Poland had a few good scoring chances which were squandered when forwards miskicked the ball on two occasions at close range from the right side of the penalty box. Another good scoring chance for Poland came from a free kick from right outside the penalty box but Senegal's goalkeeper made an acrobatic dive to his left and swatted the ball out of harm's way.

Senegal dominated stretches of the game with their confident ball control and it seemed it was only a matter of time before they would strike again even though the Polish players were more energetic as they worked hard for the equalizer.

Things changed dramatically when a Polish midfield player volleyed a high ball back towards his defense. While the ball was still in the air and the defender, Jan Bednarek, was running back to cover ground he glanced over his left shoulder to make sure there was no Senegalese player nearby. Had he glanced to his right he would have seen M’Baye Niang, who had just been waved back into the game, speeding towards him.

It was too late by the time the defender realized his mistake. Niang saw the Polish goalie Wojciech Szczesny running desperately to cover ground; he timed the ball as it landed and flipped it high over the goalkeeper while keeping his stride and speed. He tapped the ball into an unguarded goal sending the Senegalese players and fans on the stands into celebration.

The game was not over and the Polish players kept pressing. Finally they were rewarded when Grzegorz Krychowiak was able to knock a thunderous header into the far right side of the net off a free kick.

Suddenly the Poles were making long runs at the goal again with new hope and determination. Senegalese impenetrable defense would not yield and the goalkeeper was the epitome of youthful confidence.

Meanwhile from the sidelines, Senegal's coach, Cisse Aliou, himself a former star on the national team used both hands to send the universal "stay calm and relaxed" single to his players. Aliou is the only Black coach in the tournament. All the other African teams --Nigeria, Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco--have European coaches.

After four minutes of injury time were over Senegal had become the first African team to win a game in World Cup 2018.

In the 2002 World Cup Senegal went as far as the quarter finals.

Also Check Out...

Puma Cricket is garnering all the attention after the company came to the rescue of Winston Benjamin,
Former Antiguan Cricketer’s Plea
"I support Cheney because she actually supports the election results. She's a true Republican and always has been."
Cheney Fighting To Retain Seat
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona will travel to Queens and Brooklyn, New York,
U.S. Secretary of Education Coming
Get fresh with True Laundry Detergent and join the movement today!
Get America's Best-Selling
voting-rights organizations Wednesday urged a federal appeals court to reject part of a controversial Florida elections law
Voting-Rights Group: Florida'
A diversity report found the NBA posting nearly across-the-board gains in hiring of minorities and women
NBA Diversity Study Finds Job