Senegal holds off mistake-prone Poland to claim Africa’s first win at the World Cup although there was a hint of controversy about their second goal.
Senegal midfielder Mbaye Niang saw the signal from the referee to re-enter following treatment for an injury and jogged along the center line. Then Niang noticed Poland’s Grzegorz Krychowiak loft a backpass to Jan Bednarek, who hadn’t realized Niang was back on the field.
Niang then sprinted to beat former Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and Southampton defender Jan Bednarek to the ball and slotted into an empty net to the confusion and disgust of several Poland players, who protested in vain to referee Nawaf Shukralla.
Senegal is one of only three sides in World Cup history who are unbeaten in group stage matches (including East Germany and Wales, both three), having now played four without a single defeat.
Meanwhile, in the last game of the day, Mohamed Salah’s penalty after a 350-minute goal drought for Egypt at the World Cup was not enough as they fell to a very solid and all round Russia losing 3-1.
After a very even and intense opening, the tide turned with those goals straight after the break. Although the first was bad luck for the Egypt captain, after that there was nothing fortunate about Russia’s three-goal lead. Two great moves sealed the victory: a beautiful run and a pass from Mario Fernandes to help Cheryshev score his third of the tournament, before some great technique from Dzyuba in the box capped off the night. Salah may have jangled some nerves, but the victory was deserved.
Egypt is all but out of the FIFA World Cup, this year except a miracle happens.