FIFA World Cup 2018: Senegal Tops Poland 2-1 After Scoring Controversial Second Goal [VIDEO]
Senegal defeated Poland 2-1 in both countries’ opening FIFA World Cup game in Moscow on Tuesday, but the African nation’s second goal after halftime proved to be controversial.
Senegal Beats Poland 2-1 In World Cup
M’Baye Niang had started walking off the field in the 60th minute following an injury but was then quickly approved by the referee to continue playing, and Senegal ended up making no substitution.
Niang raced toward the goal as Polish defender Jan Bednarek appeared to still believe the Senegal player was coming off. Niang beat Bednarek and Poland’s goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesney rushed out of his penalty box, presumably to stop Senegal from scoring. However, by then it was far too late and Niang lobbed it over the goalie before tapping it in from close range to put his national team up 2-0.
“When I left the pitch, it was an attack for Poland,” Niang said after the game, according to the New York Times. “When I came back on I saw a ball that was coming back to the defense. I felt that there was a chance to be taken.”
Poland coach Adam Nawałka, meanwhile, called the situation “a misunderstanding,” and added he was almost certain that Bednarek was as confused as he seemed to have been.
Senegal’s first score was an own goal that came in the 37th minute. Sadio Mane passed to Idrissa Gueye who fired a shot on goal that was deflected off the leg of Poland’s Thiago Cionek and landed in the back of the net.
Poland scored in the 86th minute on a free kick, after Grzegorz Krychowiak — who passed the ball back to Bednarek right before Senegal’s second goal — headed home the cross in the box. The Eastern Europeans were the favorites to win their opener in the tournament, and were backed by a large fan base in Moscow, but were simply unable to figure out Senegal.
Senegal and Japan now lead Group H with three points apiece after the latter team upset Colombia 2-1 earlier on Tuesday in Russia. Colombia was forced to play most of the game with 10 men due to an early red card.
Poland next faces Colombia on Sunday at 2pm EST. Senegal will play Japan earlier on Sunday, at 11am EST.
Later on Tuesday, Russia defeated Egypt 3-1.