M’Baye Niang pounces to secure Senegal victory after Poland mix-up

Senegal manager Aliou Ciss

MOSCOW-Senegal took full advantage of their opponents' errors to beat Poland 2-1 in their opening Group H match, finally giving Africa something to cheer about at the World Cup as the group favorites failed to fire.

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Nawalka sent on Southampton defender Jan Bednarek at half-time - Jakub Blaszczykowski making way on his 100th global appearance - as Cionek's own goal ensured Poland's 32-year wait for a clean sheet at the World Cup goes on.

Senegal doubled their lead when M'Baye Niang took advantage of a mix-up between Grzegorz Krychowiak and Wojciech Szczesny to finish easily.

Poland were widely expected to qualify for the knockout rounds but after suffering a seventh loss in their last nine World Cup matches, FIFA's eighth-ranked team are in danger of making an early exit.

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Senegal took the lead when Mbaye Niang went around Lukasz Piszczek on the flank following a restart and centred to Sadio Mané.

Poland got a goal back with Krychowiak's header in the 86th minute, and though they pushed forward for an equaliser, a second goal would not come late on. The midfielder's shot appeared to be going wide until the hapless Cionek stuck out a leg and deflected it past Szczesny. Referee Nawaf Shukralla of Bahrain, a veteran of two World Cup matches in 2014, waved Niang to come back on the field just as Krychowiak lofted a back-pass from the centre circle to Szczesny.

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

Krychowiak scored from a free kick by Kamil Grosicki from about 35 yards, but Ndiaye made the lead hold up when grabbed a corner kick in stoppage time.

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