Published: Tue, June 19, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Teranga Lions roar to first African win at Russian Federation 2018

Senegal's return to the World Cup ended triumphantly as they edged Poland 2-1 in Moscow on Tuesday.

Senegal took the lead in the 37th minute from an own goal by Thiago Cionek off Idrissa Gana Gueye's low shot from the edge of Poland's box.

Niang pounced on the ball, rounded keeper Wojciech Szczesny and tapped the ball into the open net.

However, Cisse's men held on to record something of a surprise opening win.

Poland and Senegal reasonably expect to advance out of Group H, making this first game monumentally important.

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While Poland will be making their first World Cup appearance since 2006, Senegal are making a return to FIFA World Cup after a gap of 16 years.

The FIFA World Cup 2018 Poland vs Senegal match will take place on Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Senegal will play Japan on Sunday (Monday NZT), when Poland meets Colombia.

On whether this win meant Senegal were now carrying Africa's hopes in this tournament, as they had done 16 years ago, Cisse said: "Absolutely, today Senegal represents the whole continent". Having watched all of their African rivals lose their opening group games, Senegal started on the front-foot and deserved their huge slice of luck.

Senegal striker Mbaye Niang not only made the game safe for his team with a second goal, but was full of running and troubled the opposing defence with his size and physical presence when he was on the pitch.

Poland are the first nation to make two errors leading to a goal in a single World Cup match so far in 2018.

Krychowiak needlessly hooked a high ball back towards his own goal from inside the Senegal half and with Szczesny attempting to intercept by coming out of his penalty area, Niang gleefully knocked the ball into an unguarded goal.

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They showed tremendous fight, desire and determination which is in stark contrast to Poland's pitiful display.

A meaty Grzegorz Krychowiak header late on gave Poland a chance of a draw but they did not really deserve it and Senegal comfortably closed out the game.

Poland: Szczesny, Piszczek, Pazdan, Cionek, Rybus, Krychowiak, Zielinski, Blaszczykowski, Milik, Grosicki, Lewandowski.

Kamil Glik, passed fit despite pre-match fitness doubts, should have got Poland back in the game but he slotted a flawless Piszczek cross wide at the near post.

Senegal's forward Mbaye Niang (R) celebrates after scoring their second goal during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup Group H football match between Poland and Senegal at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow on June 19, 2018.

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Meanwhile, global stock markets fell Tuesday amidst the global concern over a tit-for-tat trade war between the U.S. and China. Some of the US's biggest exporters were among those most affected. "President Donald Trump has raised the stakes once more ".

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