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Michael Conforto hits a slow grounder to third, where Nolan Arenado charges for a terrific barehanded play to nab Conforto at first
Arenado's slick barehanded stop
Michael Conforto hits a slow grounder to third, where Nolan Arenado charges for a terrific barehanded play to nab Conforto at first
Michael Conforto hits a slow grounder to third, where Nolan Arenado charges for a terrific barehanded play to nab Conforto at first
Arenado's slick barehanded stop
Michael Conforto hits a slow grounder to third, where Nolan Arenado charges for a terrific barehanded play to nab Conforto at first
Michael Conforto hits a slow grounder to third, where Nolan Arenado charges for a terrific barehanded play to nab Conforto at first
Arenado's slick barehanded stop
Michael Conforto hits a slow grounder to third, where Nolan Arenado charges for a terrific barehanded play to nab Conforto at first
6/18/18: Choo, Beltre power Rangers to a 6-3 win
Recap: TEX 6, KC 3
6/18/18: Choo, Beltre power Rangers to a 6-3 win
6/18/18: Choo, Beltre power Rangers to a 6-3 win
Recap: TEX 6, KC 3
6/18/18: Choo, Beltre power Rangers to a 6-3 win
6/18/18: Choo, Beltre power Rangers to a 6-3 win
Recap: TEX 6, KC 3
6/18/18: Choo, Beltre power Rangers to a 6-3 win
Seattle Mariners' Nelson Cruz hits a solo home run on a pitch from Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 17, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
LEADING OFF: Verlander backs rolling Astros, mending Dodgers
Seattle Mariners' Nelson Cruz hits a solo home run on a pitch from Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 17, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
As part of a Father's Day celebration, Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) and relief pitcher Tom Koehler walk onto the field with their children before a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants in Los Angeles, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
LEADING OFF: Verlander backs rolling Astros, mending Dodgers
As part of a Father's Day celebration, Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) and relief pitcher Tom Koehler walk onto the field with their children before a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants in Los Angeles, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander works against the Oakland Athletics in the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 14, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
LEADING OFF: Verlander backs rolling Astros, mending Dodgers
Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander works against the Oakland Athletics in the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 14, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Washington Nationals' Juan Soto (22) celebrates his two-run home run with Anthony Rendon (6) during the sixth inning of the continuation of a suspended baseball game against the New York Yankees, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Washington. This game is a continuation of a suspended game from May 15. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
LEADING OFF: Verlander backs rolling Astros, mending Dodgers
Washington Nationals' Juan Soto (22) celebrates his two-run home run with Anthony Rendon (6) during the sixth inning of the continuation of a suspended baseball game against the New York Yankees, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Washington. This game is a continuation of a suspended game from May 15. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
The free screenings are welcome as watching in a local cafe proved too expensive for many camp residents (AFP Photo/Delil SOULEIMAN)
The free screenings are welcome as watching in a local cafe proved too expensive for many camp residents
The free screenings are welcome as watching in a local cafe proved too expensive for many camp residents (AFP Photo/Delil SOULEIMAN)
World Cup matches are screened inside tents during the day and outside in the evening (AFP Photo/Delil SOULEIMAN)
World Cup matches are screened inside tents during the day and outside in the evening
World Cup matches are screened inside tents during the day and outside in the evening (AFP Photo/Delil SOULEIMAN)
A local charity is screening all World Cup matches for free at the Ain Issa camp (AFP Photo/Delil SOULEIMAN)
A local charity is screening all World Cup matches for free at the Ain Issa camp
A local charity is screening all World Cup matches for free at the Ain Issa camp (AFP Photo/Delil SOULEIMAN)
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to a Philadelphia Phillies batter during the third inning of a baseball game Thursday, May 31, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Dodgers LHP Kershaw eyes return after throwing sim game
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to a Philadelphia Phillies batter during the third inning of a baseball game Thursday, May 31, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Chicago Cubs' Javier Baez, front, doubles over as he is checked on by manager Joe Maddon after being hit by a pitch during the third inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday, June 17, 2018, in St. Louis. Baez left the game. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Cubs INF Baez feeling better after hit by pitch
Chicago Cubs' Javier Baez, front, doubles over as he is checked on by manager Joe Maddon after being hit by a pitch during the third inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday, June 17, 2018, in St. Louis. Baez left the game. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Chicago Cubs' Javier Baez (9) is checked on by manager Joe Maddon after being hit by a pitch during the third inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday, June 17, 2018, in St. Louis. Baez left the game. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Cubs INF Baez feeling better after hit by pitch
Chicago Cubs' Javier Baez (9) is checked on by manager Joe Maddon after being hit by a pitch during the third inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday, June 17, 2018, in St. Louis. Baez left the game. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor, left, tags out Chicago White Sox's Yoan Moncada after Moncada tried to steal second base in the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Bauer, Indians beat skidding White Sox 6-2
Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor, left, tags out Chicago White Sox's Yoan Moncada after Moncada tried to steal second base in the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Bauer, Indians beat skidding White Sox 6-2
Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor fields a ball hit by Chicago White Sox Jose Abreu in the sixth inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. Abreu was out on the play. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Bauer, Indians beat skidding White Sox 6-2
Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor fields a ball hit by Chicago White Sox Jose Abreu in the sixth inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. Abreu was out on the play. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor, left, celebrates with Rajai Davis after the Indians defeated the Chicago White Sox 6-2 in a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Bauer, Indians beat skidding White Sox 6-2
Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor, left, celebrates with Rajai Davis after the Indians defeated the Chicago White Sox 6-2 in a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Cleveland Indians' Rajai Davis steals to second base as Chicago White Sox's Tim Anderson waits for the ball in the third inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. Second base umpire Will Little watches. Davis was safe on the steal. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Bauer, Indians beat skidding White Sox 6-2
Cleveland Indians' Rajai Davis steals to second base as Chicago White Sox's Tim Anderson waits for the ball in the third inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. Second base umpire Will Little watches. Davis was safe on the steal. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Cleveland Indians' Jason Kipnis watches his ball after hitting a solo home run off Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Covey in the fifth inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Bauer, Indians beat skidding White Sox 6-2
Cleveland Indians' Jason Kipnis watches his ball after hitting a solo home run off Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Covey in the fifth inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Chicago White Sox's Yolmer Sanchez hits an RBI-single off Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Evan Marshall in the eighth inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. Adam Engel scored on the play. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Bauer, Indians beat skidding White Sox 6-2
Chicago White Sox's Yolmer Sanchez hits an RBI-single off Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Evan Marshall in the eighth inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. Adam Engel scored on the play. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Chicago White Sox's Tim Anderson strikes out swinging in the second inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Bauer, Indians beat skidding White Sox 6-2
Chicago White Sox's Tim Anderson strikes out swinging in the second inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Cleveland Indians' Jason Kipnis hits an RBI-single off Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Covey in the third inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. Rajai Davis scored on the play. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Bauer, Indians beat skidding White Sox 6-2
Cleveland Indians' Jason Kipnis hits an RBI-single off Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Covey in the third inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. Rajai Davis scored on the play. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Cleveland Indians' Roberto Perez hits a ground rule double off Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Covey in the second inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. Lonnie Chisenhall and Rajai Davis scored on the play. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Bauer, Indians beat skidding White Sox 6-2
Cleveland Indians' Roberto Perez hits a ground rule double off Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Covey in the second inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. Lonnie Chisenhall and Rajai Davis scored on the play. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Covey, right, waits for Cleveland Indians' Jason Kipnis, left, to run the bases after Kipnis hit a solo home run in the fifth inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Bauer, Indians beat skidding White Sox 6-2
Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Covey, right, waits for Cleveland Indians' Jason Kipnis, left, to run the bases after Kipnis hit a solo home run in the fifth inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch (14) hugs Alex Bregman (2) after Bregman hit a game-winning double to score two runs against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. The Astros won 5-4. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Bregman's game-ending 2B lifts Astros to 12th straight win
Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch (14) hugs Alex Bregman (2) after Bregman hit a game-winning double to score two runs against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. The Astros won 5-4. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Tampa Bay Rays' Wilson Ramos celebrates after hitting a two-run home run against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Bregman's game-ending 2B lifts Astros to 12th straight win
Tampa Bay Rays' Wilson Ramos celebrates after hitting a two-run home run against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Houston Astros' Tony Kemp, left, beats Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Jonny Venters to first base for a hit during the third inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Bregman's game-ending 2B lifts Astros to 12th straight win
Houston Astros' Tony Kemp, left, beats Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Jonny Venters to first base for a hit during the third inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Tampa Bay Rays' Wilson Ramos, left, celebrates with Jake Bauers after both scored on Ramos' home run against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Bregman's game-ending 2B lifts Astros to 12th straight win
Tampa Bay Rays' Wilson Ramos, left, celebrates with Jake Bauers after both scored on Ramos' home run against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Houston Astros' Alex Bregman points to dugout after hitting a game-winning double to score two runs against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. The Astros won 5-4. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Bregman's game-ending 2B lifts Astros to 12th straight win
Houston Astros' Alex Bregman points to dugout after hitting a game-winning double to score two runs against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. The Astros won 5-4. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole throws against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Bregman's game-ending 2B lifts Astros to 12th straight win
Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole throws against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Houston Astros' Alex Bregman, center, celebrates with teammates after hitting a game-winning double to score two runs against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. The Astros won 5-4. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Bregman's game-ending 2B lifts Astros to 12th straight win
Houston Astros' Alex Bregman, center, celebrates with teammates after hitting a game-winning double to score two runs against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. The Astros won 5-4. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Houston Astros' Alex Bregman hits a game-winning double to score two runs against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. The Astros won 5-4. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Bregman's game-ending 2B lifts Astros to 12th straight win
Houston Astros' Alex Bregman hits a game-winning double to score two runs against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. The Astros won 5-4. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Houston Astros' Alex Bregman, center, celebrates with teammates after hitting a game-winning double to score two runs against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. The Astros won 5-4. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Bregman's game-ending 2B lifts Astros to 12th straight win
Houston Astros' Alex Bregman, center, celebrates with teammates after hitting a game-winning double to score two runs against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. The Astros won 5-4. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Despite scoring nine goals this season, his team Ozone FC missed out on qualification to the I-League and the striker discusses why...
CS Sabeeth: Best Indian striker in 2nd Division I-League sets sights on the ISL
Despite scoring nine goals this season, his team Ozone FC missed out on qualification to the I-League and the striker discusses why...
Despite scoring nine goals this season, his team Ozone FC missed out on qualification to the I-League and the striker discusses why...
CS Sabeeth: Best Indian striker in 2nd Division I-League sets sights on the ISL
Despite scoring nine goals this season, his team Ozone FC missed out on qualification to the I-League and the striker discusses why...
Despite scoring nine goals this season, his team Ozone FC missed out on qualification to the I-League and the striker discusses why...
CS Sabeeth: Best Indian striker in 2nd Division I-League sets sights on the ISL
Despite scoring nine goals this season, his team Ozone FC missed out on qualification to the I-League and the striker discusses why...
New York Mets' Brandon Nimmo watches the flight of a home run ball hit off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Harrison Musgrave during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Nimmo, Mets finally support deGrom in 12-2 win over Rockies
New York Mets' Brandon Nimmo watches the flight of a home run ball hit off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Harrison Musgrave during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
In this May 16, 2018, photo American soccer referee Mark Geiger is interviewed in New York. Geiger is the second American to referee at two World Cups. The 43-year-old from Beachwood, New Jersey, worked Chile-Spain and Colombia-Greece during the group stage in Brazil four years ago, then became the first American to work a knockout stage match when he officiated France's 2-0 win over Nigeria. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
The Latest: Blatter warms to British World Cup bid idea
In this May 16, 2018, photo American soccer referee Mark Geiger is interviewed in New York. Geiger is the second American to referee at two World Cups. The 43-year-old from Beachwood, New Jersey, worked Chile-Spain and Colombia-Greece during the group stage in Brazil four years ago, then became the first American to work a knockout stage match when he officiated France's 2-0 win over Nigeria. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Japan's Yuya Osako, centre, celebrates after scoring his side's 2nd goal with teammates Makoto Hasebe, right, and Yuto Nagatomo, left, during the group H match between Colombia and Japan at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Mordavia Arena in Saransk, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
The Latest: Blatter warms to British World Cup bid idea
Japan's Yuya Osako, centre, celebrates after scoring his side's 2nd goal with teammates Makoto Hasebe, right, and Yuto Nagatomo, left, during the group H match between Colombia and Japan at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Mordavia Arena in Saransk, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Brazil's Neymar during the group E match between Brazil and Switzerland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
The Latest: Blatter warms to British World Cup bid idea
Brazil's Neymar during the group E match between Brazil and Switzerland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Colombia's James Rodriguez warms up during Colombia's official training on the eve of the group H match between Colombia and Japan at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Mordavia Arena in Saransk, Russia, Monday, June 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
The Latest: Blatter warms to British World Cup bid idea
Colombia's James Rodriguez warms up during Colombia's official training on the eve of the group H match between Colombia and Japan at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Mordavia Arena in Saransk, Russia, Monday, June 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Senegal's Mbaye Niang, center, passes Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, right, to scoe his side's second goal during the group H match between Poland and Senegal at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
The Latest: Salah scores from the spot to get Egypt on board
Senegal's Mbaye Niang, center, passes Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, right, to scoe his side's second goal during the group H match between Poland and Senegal at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Senegal's team players celebrate as they won the group H match between Poland and Senegal at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
The Latest: Blatter warms to British World Cup bid idea
Senegal's team players celebrate as they won the group H match between Poland and Senegal at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Saudi Arabia's Mohammed Alsahlawi, foreground, jumps for the ball with Russia's Alexander Samedov during the group A match between Russia and Saudi Arabia which opens the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, June 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
The Latest: Blatter warms to British World Cup bid idea
Saudi Arabia's Mohammed Alsahlawi, foreground, jumps for the ball with Russia's Alexander Samedov during the group A match between Russia and Saudi Arabia which opens the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, June 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Japan's Princess Takamado waves from the VIP stand prior to the group H match between Colombia and Japan at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Mordavia Arena in Saransk, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
The Latest: Blatter warms to British World Cup bid idea
Japan's Princess Takamado waves from the VIP stand prior to the group H match between Colombia and Japan at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Mordavia Arena in Saransk, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Colombia's Juan Quintero celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the group H match between Colombia and Japan at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Mordavia Arena in Saransk, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
The Latest: Blatter warms to British World Cup bid idea
Colombia's Juan Quintero celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the group H match between Colombia and Japan at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Mordavia Arena in Saransk, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Brazil's Neymar reacts during the group E match between Brazil and Switzerland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
The Latest: Blatter warms to British World Cup bid idea
Brazil's Neymar reacts during the group E match between Brazil and Switzerland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Colombia's James Rodriguez, right, replaces Juan Quintero during the group H match between Colombia and Japan at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Mordavia Arena in Saransk, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
The Latest: Blatter warms to British World Cup bid idea
Colombia's James Rodriguez, right, replaces Juan Quintero during the group H match between Colombia and Japan at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Mordavia Arena in Saransk, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Former FIFA President Joseph Blatter arrives at a hotel in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)
The Latest: Blatter warms to British World Cup bid idea
Former FIFA President Joseph Blatter arrives at a hotel in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)
Japan's Yuya Osako, centre, celebrates after scoring his side's 2nd goal with teammates Makoto Hasebe, right, and Yuto Nagatomo, left, during the group H match between Colombia and Japan at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Mordavia Arena in Saransk, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
The Latest: Salah scores from the spot to get Egypt on board
Japan's Yuya Osako, centre, celebrates after scoring his side's 2nd goal with teammates Makoto Hasebe, right, and Yuto Nagatomo, left, during the group H match between Colombia and Japan at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Mordavia Arena in Saransk, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Cars sit in flood water after a heavy rain in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Nizhny Novgorod Stadium is hosting six matches during the Russia 2018 World Cup. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
The Latest: Blatter warms to British World Cup bid idea
Cars sit in flood water after a heavy rain in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Nizhny Novgorod Stadium is hosting six matches during the Russia 2018 World Cup. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Switzerland's Steven Zuber, left, scores his side's first goal during the group E match between Brazil and Switzerland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
The Latest: Blatter warms to British World Cup bid idea
Switzerland's Steven Zuber, left, scores his side's first goal during the group E match between Brazil and Switzerland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Referee Damir Skomina from Slovenia shows a red card to Colombia's Carlos Sanchez, on the ground, during the group H match between Colombia and Japan at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Mordavia Arena in Saransk, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
The Latest: Blatter warms to British World Cup bid idea
Referee Damir Skomina from Slovenia shows a red card to Colombia's Carlos Sanchez, on the ground, during the group H match between Colombia and Japan at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Mordavia Arena in Saransk, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Japan's Yuya Osako, centre, celebrates after scoring his side's 2nd goal with teammates Makoto Hasebe, right, and Yuto Nagatomo, left, during the group H match between Colombia and Japan at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Mordavia Arena in Saransk, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
The Latest: Blatter warms to British World Cup bid idea
Japan's Yuya Osako, centre, celebrates after scoring his side's 2nd goal with teammates Makoto Hasebe, right, and Yuto Nagatomo, left, during the group H match between Colombia and Japan at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Mordavia Arena in Saransk, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Referee Damir Skomina from Slovenia shows a red card to Colombia's Carlos Sanchez, on the ground, during the group H match between Colombia and Japan at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Mordavia Arena in Saransk, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
The Latest: Blatter warms to British World Cup bid idea
Referee Damir Skomina from Slovenia shows a red card to Colombia's Carlos Sanchez, on the ground, during the group H match between Colombia and Japan at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Mordavia Arena in Saransk, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Russia's Denis Cheryshev celebrates after scoring his side's second goal against Egypt during the group A match between Russia and Egypt at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the St. Petersburg stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
The Latest: Salah scores from the spot to get Egypt on board
Russia's Denis Cheryshev celebrates after scoring his side's second goal against Egypt during the group A match between Russia and Egypt at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the St. Petersburg stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
Japan's Genki Haraguchi celebrates the 2-1 win during the group H match against Colombia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Mordavia Arena in Saransk, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
The Latest: Blatter warms to British World Cup bid idea
Japan's Genki Haraguchi celebrates the 2-1 win during the group H match against Colombia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Mordavia Arena in Saransk, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Tunisia goalkeeper Mouez Hassen has to leave the pitch injured during the group G match between Tunisia and England at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd, Russia, Monday, June 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
The Latest: Salah scores from the spot to get Egypt on board
Tunisia goalkeeper Mouez Hassen has to leave the pitch injured during the group G match between Tunisia and England at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd, Russia, Monday, June 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Colombian singer Maluma, right, gesture next to Mexico goalkeeper Jose de Jesus Corona, left, at the end of a training session of the Mexico national soccer team, for the 2018 soccer World Cup, in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
The Latest: Salah scores from the spot to get Egypt on board
Colombian singer Maluma, right, gesture next to Mexico goalkeeper Jose de Jesus Corona, left, at the end of a training session of the Mexico national soccer team, for the 2018 soccer World Cup, in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Egypt's Mohamed Salah scores his side's opening goal on a penalty during the group A match between Russia and Egypt at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the St. Petersburg stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
The Latest: Blatter warms to British World Cup bid idea
Egypt's Mohamed Salah scores his side's opening goal on a penalty during the group A match between Russia and Egypt at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the St. Petersburg stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Polish soccer fans cheer in front of the the monument of Soviet Marshal Georgy Zhukov, near Red Square ahead of the group H match between Poland and Senegal during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
The Latest: Blatter warms to British World Cup bid idea
Polish soccer fans cheer in front of the the monument of Soviet Marshal Georgy Zhukov, near Red Square ahead of the group H match between Poland and Senegal during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Egypt's Mohamed Salah, left, and Russia's Yuri Zhirkov challenge for the ball during the group A match between Russia and Egypt at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the St. Petersburg stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
The Latest: Blatter warms to British World Cup bid idea
Egypt's Mohamed Salah, left, and Russia's Yuri Zhirkov challenge for the ball during the group A match between Russia and Egypt at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the St. Petersburg stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
Senegal's Idrissa Gana Gueye, right, celebrates scoring his side's opening goal during the group H match between Poland and Senegal at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
The Latest: Blatter warms to British World Cup bid idea
Senegal's Idrissa Gana Gueye, right, celebrates scoring his side's opening goal during the group H match between Poland and Senegal at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Egypt's Mohamed Salah, left, plays with the ball during Egypt's official training on the eve of the group A match between Russia and Egypt at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the St. Petersburg stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, Monday, June 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
The Latest: Blatter warms to British World Cup bid idea
Egypt's Mohamed Salah, left, plays with the ball during Egypt's official training on the eve of the group A match between Russia and Egypt at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the St. Petersburg stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, Monday, June 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
Senegal's Sadio Mane control the ball during Senegal's official training on the eve of the group H match between Poland and Senegal at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Monday, June 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
The Latest: Blatter warms to British World Cup bid idea
Senegal's Sadio Mane control the ball during Senegal's official training on the eve of the group H match between Poland and Senegal at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Monday, June 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Russia's Denis Cheryshev celebrates after scoring his side's second goal against Egypt during the group A match between Russia and Egypt at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the St. Petersburg stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
The Latest: Salah scores from the spot to get Egypt on board
Russia's Denis Cheryshev celebrates after scoring his side's second goal against Egypt during the group A match between Russia and Egypt at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the St. Petersburg stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
<p>With the sun barely up on Tuesday, Doug Wilson cleared $4 million in cap space by trading Mikkel Boedker. Now he has a little more wiggle room to make one (or two) big splashes this offseason.</p>
Assessing how Sharks' two trades impact the rest of their offseason plans

With the sun barely up on Tuesday, Doug Wilson cleared $4 million in cap space by trading Mikkel Boedker. Now he has a little more wiggle room to make one (or two) big splashes this offseason.

Former FIFA President Joseph Blatter arrives at a hotel in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)
Banned ex-FIFA president Blatter in Russia for World Cup
Former FIFA President Joseph Blatter arrives at a hotel in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)
Former FIFA President Joseph Blatter arrives at a hotel in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. (AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)
Banned ex-FIFA president Blatter in Russia for World Cup
Former FIFA President Joseph Blatter arrives at a hotel in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. (AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)
Former FIFA President Joseph Blatter arrives at a hotel in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin.(AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)
The Latest: Blatter warms to British World Cup bid idea
Former FIFA President Joseph Blatter arrives at a hotel in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin.(AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)
Former FIFA President Joseph Blatter arrives at a hotel in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. (AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)
Banned ex-FIFA president Blatter in Russia for World Cup
Former FIFA President Joseph Blatter arrives at a hotel in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. (AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)
Former FIFA President Joseph Blatter arrives at a hotel in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin.(AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)
Banned ex-FIFA president Blatter in Russia for World Cup
Former FIFA President Joseph Blatter arrives at a hotel in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin.(AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)
Tennis - WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic - Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham, Britain - June 19, 2018 Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova in action during her first round match against Great Britain's Johanna Konta Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes
WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic
Tennis - WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic - Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham, Britain - June 19, 2018 Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova in action during her first round match against Great Britain's Johanna Konta Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes
Tennis - WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic - Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham, Britain - June 19, 2018 Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova in action during her first round match against Great Britain's Johanna Konta Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes
WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic
Tennis - WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic - Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham, Britain - June 19, 2018 Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova in action during her first round match against Great Britain's Johanna Konta Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes
Tennis - WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic - Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham, Britain - June 19, 2018 Spain's Garbine Muguruza celebrates winning her first round match against Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes
WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic
Tennis - WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic - Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham, Britain - June 19, 2018 Spain's Garbine Muguruza celebrates winning her first round match against Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes
Tennis - WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic - Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham, Britain - June 19, 2018 Spain's Garbine Muguruza in action during her first round match against Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes
WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic
Tennis - WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic - Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham, Britain - June 19, 2018 Spain's Garbine Muguruza in action during her first round match against Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes
Tennis - WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic - Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham, Britain - June 19, 2018 Spain's Garbine Muguruza celebrates winning her first round match against Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes
WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic
Tennis - WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic - Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham, Britain - June 19, 2018 Spain's Garbine Muguruza celebrates winning her first round match against Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes
Tennis - WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic - Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham, Britain - June 19, 2018 Spain's Garbine Muguruza in action during her first round match against Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes
WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic
Tennis - WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic - Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham, Britain - June 19, 2018 Spain's Garbine Muguruza in action during her first round match against Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes
Tennis - WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic - Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham, Britain - June 19, 2018 Spain's Garbine Muguruza in action during her first round match against Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes
WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic
Tennis - WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic - Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham, Britain - June 19, 2018 Spain's Garbine Muguruza in action during her first round match against Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes
Tennis - WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic - Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham, Britain - June 19, 2018 Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova in action during her first round match against Great Britain's Johanna Konta Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes
WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic
Tennis - WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic - Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham, Britain - June 19, 2018 Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova in action during her first round match against Great Britain's Johanna Konta Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes
Tennis - WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic - Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham, Britain - June 19, 2018 Spain's Garbine Muguruza in action during her first round match against Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes
WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic
Tennis - WTA Premier - Nature Valley Classic - Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham, Britain - June 19, 2018 Spain's Garbine Muguruza in action during her first round match against Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes
The Senegalese players and fans were celebrating with all the gusto that you might expect for one of the greatest results in their history but it was the contrast with their manager, Aliou Cisse, which felt most significant. He simply strolled towards the beaten Poland manager Adam Nawalka and offered his hand, before calmly heading towards the tunnel in the most business-like of ways. Yes, he did reappear a few moments later to acknowledge, with a tap towards his heart, those Senegalese fans who were joyously dancing in the aisles but the overall message was clear. In Cisse’s mind, this was no great surprise and he is planning for Senegal’s World Cup to be about much more than simply becoming the first African team to win so far this summer in Russia following defeats already for Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Tunisia. “We managed to control the game tactically and emotionally - that is very important,” said Cisse. “We are not too euphoric; we have highs, lows and we are not going to jump up and down. We need to stay humble.” Such measured leadership should not be mistaken for a lack of emotion. Cisse broke down in front of his squad earlier in the week, such was the importance for him of again leading his country on world football’s biggest stage after he had previously been the captain when they reached the 2002 quarter-final. The only black manager in the tournament, he is also continuing to serve as a wonderful example to other emerging African coaches. “Senegal are proud to represent the whole continent,” he said. Good planning, tactical discipline, the presence of Sadio Mane and two fairly freakish goals ultimately settled this for Senegal. Senegal coach Aliou Cisse played in the country's 2002 World Cup team, where they reached the quarter-finals Credit: AP The first deflected off both Michal Pazdam and Thiago Cionek before going in, while the second was controversially gifted to Mbaye Niang. The Senegal striker had left the pitch for treatment and was then waved on by the fourth official just as Grzegorz Krychowiak hooked a ball back to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Niang sprinted on from the side of the pitch and reached the ball ahead of Szczesny, who had left his goal in an attempt to negate the danger, before tapping the ball into an empty net. Niang later stressed that the need for treatment had been genuine and his intention innocent but it had clearly caught Poland unaware. “Wojciech tried to save the situation,” said Nawalka. “We were very surprised. The players thought a substitute was coming on and that is why there was a big misunderstanding.” On the very same pitch as Lionel Messi so struggled against Iceland to make a decisive contribution, Mane had earlier been influential. He started on the left but, while Messi played just about the entire 90 minutes on Saturday in the area between Iceland’s midfield and defence, the Liverpool winger really magnified his own threat with his movement. There were several eye-catching passes and dribbles but it was his work off the ball that was just as impressive, especially once Poland seized control of possession during the second half. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players After Robert Lewandowski had forced a good save of Khadim N’Diaye with a free-kick, an excellent header by Krychowiak did briefly give Poland some hope. Nawalka, though, would make no attempt to hide the earlier deficiencies and effectively singled out the entire midfield for criticism. “There have been many bad elements,” he said. “The wingers didn’t do a good job and, in the centre, we didn’t do well either. Two goals following our mistakes was something we were very unhappy with. In the first half we did not play. The second half was better but too little.” World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 6:24PM Some stats for you Senegal have won 50% of their World Cup matches (3/6), the best win rate of any African nation in the competition. All three of Senegal’s World Cup wins have been against European nations (France, Sweden and Poland). Poland have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986. Poland have lost seven of their last nine World Cup matches (W2), failing to score in six of those losses. Poland are the first nation to make two errors leading to a goal in a single World Cup match so far in 2018. 6:03PM Goal controversy Slaven Bilic: "For me the referee makes a mistake, Krychowiak makes a mistake, Bednarek makes a mistake". Henrik Larsson: "I think the referee's read it very poorly there. Although the ball is in Poland's control, Bednarek doesn't see what's happening, Szczesny does but he sees it too late." 6:01PM Patrice Evra delighted I'm happy! Thank you to all the Senegal players, nobody expects them to win, no other African team has won. They played for the pride, we have to congratulate the manager, it's a good day. 5:59PM Next up The last game of today is Russia vs Egypt! Will Mo Salah make a big appearance? Will home support drive Russia onto another blockbusting performance? You can follow all the action with Alan Tyers in our liveblog here. 5:56PM Krychowiak's goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's a great photo! You can see Krychowiak beating the centre-backs to the ball. 5:54PM FULL TIME That's it! Senegal deserved the points and put on a superb performance here. They attacked with pace and purpose, created chances, coutner-attacked well and were really well drilled in defence. Poland, by way of comparison, offered hardly anything of note and were well beaten. 5:53PM 90 mins +4 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Do Poland have anything left in them? They're running out of time. But it's Senegal who are close scoring as Mane has a header in space inside the box! He cushions a header back across goal and the chance is gone, Poland get it up the pitch and are looking to get the ball into the box now. It's way more direct and now they're causing Senegal problems. 5:51PM 90 mins +2 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 The crowd are getting excited! Krychowiak is trying to win space to shoot in the box, waits, waits, waits... wins a corner. Up come the big lads... but it's a great claim by the goalkeeper. He plucks the ball out of the air and then humps the ball a mile down the pitch. 5:50PM 90 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Mane turns Cionek inside out on the left wing and earns himself a corner. Great play. It's swung in... but the referee has spotted a foul in the box and it's a free-kick. 5:48PM 88 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Well this is a lot better now. The crowd is alive, Poland are getting everyone forward. "Just get it in the box!" says an exasperated McCoist. "That's how you got your goal!" he offers, as Poland keep up the short passing. 5:46PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! POLAND ARE BACK IN IT! Poland 1 - 2 Senegal (Grzegorz Krychowiak, 86 min) A free-kick from distance is crossed into the box and Krychowiak jumps to power the header past the goalkeeper! But the VAR is checking for offside. It must be a goal... The goal stands! Brilliant header and free-kick from Poland. 5:45PM 85 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 The VAR are checking this decision! It could be a penalty... but VAR say no. Oooooh that would have been a story. 5:44PM 84 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Final sub for Poland. Piszczek off, Bereszynski on. Sarr attacks the right wing, is tackled and stays down... so Poland get the ball up the other end of the pitch. Sarr stays down for ages with a mysterious injury and the referee stops the game... but it turns out, miraculously, that Sarr is fine. The referee gestures from 50 yards for him to get up. He does.... and SARR IS IN! He's gone down in the penalty area and this could be a foul! The Poland players are FURIOUS with him! 5:42PM 82 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Possession: Poland vs Senegal Whenever Senegal get the ball they move it quickly with purpose. When they lose it they drop back and defend in numbers, ready to counter attack. There's nothing on show that suggests Poland are even bothered about the score staying like this. 5:40PM 80 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 "Just do something different to try and change the game!" McCoist says. Poland put a cross in from wide left which Kownacki heads into the ground. The atmosphere is fairly calm... but Poland are 10 minutes away from a big defeat! Where's the urgency? 5:38PM 78 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: FIFA Ally McCoist's getting wound up by the lack of adventure being shown by Poland. The fans are getting on their backs too. That makes a change from the general sound of apathy. You can actually hear it. 5:36PM 76 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Poland chip hopeful balls forward and Senegal have absolutely no problem dealing with it. Where is the imagination in this Poland team? 5:34PM 74 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Kownacki on, Milik off. He sprints over to the subs bench. 5:32PM 72 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 MILIK! That's very close. He makes a run to the near post to attack a cross from wide right but pokes it wide of the goal. Better from Poland. The game's a bit scrappy now. Gueye is booked for a late one on Krychowiak, both teams are swapping possession around the halfway line. Still Senegal look the more confident and hungry of the two. 5:29PM 70 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES And this is Krychowiak's pass which led to the goal. Poland are horrible here today. No invention, no speed, no tempo to the passes - Senegal have got their number. 5:27PM 68 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the moment Niang poked the ball beyond Szczesny for his goal. 5:26PM 66 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Great control by Sabaly. He wants the ball more than Piszczcek and steals it from him in the air, sprinting down the left wing until he hits a dead end. Senegal sitting back in a deeper shape now waiting to counter-attack Poland, who have to get more men forward now if they want to score. 5:23PM 63 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Diouf is subbed for Ndoye. Poland are raging about that goal because Niang had just come back on the pitch are leaving because he was 'injured'. It's a defensive error though - no point in blaming anyone but themselves for that error. 5:20PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! IT'S 2-0! OUT OF NOWHERE! Poland 0 - 2 Senegal (M'Baye Niang, 60 min) Krychowiak passes back to the goalkeeper but it's awful! Niang chases, Szczesny comes flying off his line way too early and the centre-back doesn't intercept.... and Niang is in! He pokes it past the goalie and then taps into an empty net! That's his first ever international goal! 5:20PM 60 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Niang goes down after contesting a header but Poland play on. Diouf is furious about it and goes charging into Krychowiak, fouling him to stop the game. Just for a second it looks like things might bubble over but heads cool as the referee calms them down. Incidentally, Niang is absolutely fine. 5:18PM 58 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland attack down the left and cross to the back post and Piszcek arrives! His effort is poor. "He didn't believe it," says McCoist as we watch the replay of that one. Poor from the Poland right-back. Miss: Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Lukasz Piszczek, 56 min) 5:15PM 56 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland vs Senegal When the average positions stats look like that it helps explain why a game might not be captivating. It's been exciting in flashes but a lot of the game has been played in midfield. 5:14PM 54 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 A quick attack down the left wing for Senegal gets Sabaly in at goal. He pulls the ball back across the box but Mane can't turn it at goal and his shot is blocked. Credit: AP Senegal have the ball in the final third, Mane switches play, the cross is whipped in from wide right and a striker swings a foot at it! He's missed the ball! If that had connected it could well have flown into the back of the net. 5:11PM 52 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Lewandowski takes the free-kick... and it's a strong save by N'Diaye at the far post. Poland have upped the tempo now and look much better than they were in the first half. 5:09PM 50 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland might have changed to 3-5-1-1 for this half. The three centre-backs should be able to nullify the Senegal front two, and that helps wing-backs get higher up the pitch to lend service to Lewandowski. Great play by Lewandowski! He steals the ball at half way, breaks away and Sane brings him down before he gets to the box. It's a clear booking and now Poland have a great free-kick opportunity. 5:07PM 48 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That's a really bad start for the half for Bednarek. His head has collided with the body of a Senegal forward and he might have jarred his neck... or at least taking a whack to the jaw. He's up and back ready to play though. 5:05PM KICK OFF 2 And we're back! Substitution for Poland though. Blaszczykowski hasn't made it out for the second half and Bednarek has replaced him. 5:03PM Gueye's goal / Cionek's own goal Credit: REUTERS Give it to the attacking player I say. Without the shot there wouldn't have been a goal! 4:59PM Bilic is great chat today "4-4-2 is back in business - Atletico, Monaco - but then at least you have one of the wingers if not both midfielders who go inside and the full-backs doing that (flying high up the wing) but none of the teams are doing that. It's two vs two." "It's easy to read," says Henrik Larsson. 4:57PM Slaven Bilic on the match "It's easy to explain why this is a boring game. Both teams play the same system so they cancel each other out. So in this kind of game a goal comes from a mistake or transition, it's like a mirror. The only players changing positions are Niang and Mane, it's very predictable." 4:55PM No shots on target by either side Poland vs Senegal shots on goal 4:49PM HALF TIME A deserved lead for Senegal and there is work to do for Poland here. They've been outclassed and need to bring a lot more to the table if they're going to get anything out of this. Average touch positions (45 + 1 min) 4:46PM 44 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland look a little pedestrian here. Credit: AFP Senegal in control of possession, taking their time, winning aerial duels, following up second balls with urgency and keeping cool. 4:44PM 42 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Sarr speeds past Rybus like a shooting star and wins a corner. It's curled out, to the six yard box and SANE IS THERE! Oh that's a bad miss! The cross has hit the penalty area and the defender has headed down into the ground and bounced the ball over the bar. That should be 2-0. 4:42PM 40 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That goal's going to count as an own goal apparently because Gueye's shot was heading wide. That sucks. Senegal are really impressive here, I wonder if Poland underestimated them a little bit. They're playing with a lot of energy and freedom but look really well drilled defensively and Poland can't get near them. 4:39PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! GUEYE HAS SCORED! Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Idrissa Gueye, 37 min) Great attack by Senegal but Poland's defending is dreadful here! Mane looks like he's going to hit it, passes it to his right and Gueye has space. He lines up the shot, fires it low and it takes a BIG deflection off Cionek and wrong-foots the goalkeeper. Senegal have the lead! 4:38PM 36 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Blaszczkowski is struggling a little bit after riding a tackle on the edge of the Senegal box but appears to be OK for now. 4:36PM 34 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Sarr controls a long switched pas son his chest beautifully, runs down the right and crosses in low... but a defender stabs it away. Senegal keep up the pressure, the ball comes in from the right again and Diouf attacks! But he can't get enough on his header, the centre-backs clear their lines and there was an offside in the buildup anyway. 4:34PM 32 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Nothing too much happening at the moment. The ball is mostly at halfway with no particular team really in control of it. Both looking to attack but losing the ball too early to do anything with it. 4:32PM 30 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Rybus runs in behind the Senegal back line but the goalkeeper comes out to claim before it becomes a problem. 4:30PM 28 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal probe the final third, keep up the high press but Poland go past it really easily and the break should be on! But as they try to come out of their own half it becomes apparent that absolutely nobody is high enough up the pitch to pass to and Senegal easily absorb the counter. 4:27PM 26 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 You can see the different approaches in this graphics: Possession: Poland vs Senegal Poland keeping more of the ball but doing it in safer positions. Senegal a little more direct and attacking the wings. Poland vs Senegal 4:25PM 24 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Credit: AFP Must be an awful pain making sure these guys are always standing in the right order. Lewandowski has tried a hopeful attempt at a volley, while off balance, from 20 yards but puts it harmlessly behind. 4:24PM 23 mins -Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal are holding their defensive shape (4-4-2) well here to deny Poland space to pass into. Poland are doing exactly the same thing, mind. 4:22PM 21 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland get up the pitch and look to have a decent chance to get the ball in the box here. It's chipped in, Milik throws himself at it and heads over. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Kamil Grosicki, 20 min) 4:21PM 19 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 All of a sudden Senegal are in! It's another quick attack, they dribble past players before making a forward pass but the shot inside the box is dragged wide. 4:18PM 16 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland attack quickly and win a corner but Senegal defend their box well and get it away, then win a throw. Senegal wait at half way to steal the ball and Sarr then goes on a dribble into the area, falls under close attention and makes an ambitious attempt at claiming a penalty. Never ever. 4:15PM 14 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Krychowiak fouls one player then lunges into another and has been booked for the first infringement. It was like he was determined to get booked there! Senegal have a free-kick about 30 yards - probably too far to shoot - but it looks like they're considering it. Sane steps up... and that's awful. He tries a knuckleball effort off the side of his foot but basically passes it out for a goal kick. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Salif Sané, 13 min) 4:13PM 11 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland are a 4-4-1-1 at the moment with Krychowiak doing a man-marking job on Mane whenever Senegal get forward on the ball. Mane puts in a great wee pass to the box but Cionek reads it well and shields until the goalkeeper can claim. 4:10PM 9 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 McCoist has pointed out the strategy at set pieces seems to be that Senegal put all their attacking players in the same position so that when they split, it's really difficult to pick up a man and stop them getting a head on any crosses into the box. Credit: FIFA Senegal have started well here. Poland seem measured and patient whereas Senegal are direct and taking the game to them. 4:08PM 7 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 According to Ally McCoist on co-comms, Senegal are heavily outnumbered in the crowd. "There are little pockets of fans but that's it" he says. Senegal win a corner, the centre-backs come forward for it. Niang prepares to take the kick... but it's cleared at the near post. 4:07PM 5 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland now keeping the ball and working forward well. Senegal have to be alert to defend as the ball is moved into the box but win possession and again come out from the back. 4:04PM 2 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal drop deep to defend a Poland attack but break into an attacking shape really quickly... then calmly pass their way out from the back. 4:02PM KICK OFF And we're off! 4:01PM National anthems done Credit: FIFA Nothing overly emotional in the national anthems and now, after ANOTHER betting advert, it's time for lovely fitba. I can't help but feel this lady is being rather presumptive. She could look quite the fool at the final whistle if Senegal turn up here today. Credit: OFFSIDE 3:55PM Here come the players 3:50PM Senegal's manager “I am certain that one day an African country will win the World Cup." Not my words, but those of Aliou Cisse, Senegal's manager and a man who really does think Senegal are in the running to do something special in this tournament. 3:47PM The last game of the first round How are you doing at Fantasy Football? The first round of games is over and if you're like me, you only have a few substitutions left to make. In my pre-tournament selection I really thought Senegal would do well here and I'm excited to see how Mane and co get on. There have been some big shocks already - Japan earlier was another! - but we're noticing some real trends. Most goals seem to come from set pieces and particularly penalties, with our old friends VAR helping out a lot. Correct decisions often mean more fouls which means more goals. 3:32PM Patrice Evra on Senegal "Don't forget about Koulibaly. Sarri made him improve a lot, he's really cool with the ball and is a massive asset for them." 3:30PM Slaven Bilic likes the look of Senegal The ITV panel are discussing how good Senegal might be. "They have something different," is Bilic's take on it. 3:27PM The World Cup in pictures This is lovely wee gallery to have a look through: Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 3:17PM Jamie Carragher on England last night Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama Our expert columnist has had his say on Raheem Sterling vs Marcus Rashford. 3:14PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 3:02PM Poland players inspecting the pitch There they are. Looking for holes and trying to find any bits of the pitch that will make the ball go super fast. 3:00PM Starting lineups Poland Szczesny, Pazdan, Cionek, Milik, Lewandowski, Krychowiak, Grosicki, Rybus, Blaszczykowski, Zielinski, Pirszczek Senegal KH. Ndiaye; Koulibaly, Gana, Sane, Diouf, Mane, Sabaly, A. Ndiaye, Ismaila, Niang, M. Wague 2:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Spartak Stadium We're in Moscow this afternoon/evening at what is usually Spartak Moscow's stadium. It looks a little something like this: Credit: GETTY IMAGES A bit like a multiplex cinema at a seaside resort. 2:43PM Senegal fans! Credit: TASS This is the first Senegal strip or flag I've seen in any of the pre-match build up photographs. Love that Senegal kit. 2:34PM What to expect from today Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Poland and Senegal's first match of the 2018 World Cup! It's a tough one to call and both teams might fancy their chances of getting all three points today - both have some really talented players and are capable of causing damage! Poland's best ever performance at the World Cup was in 1986 when they reached the semi-final: World Cup record: Poland Robert Lewandowski is by far their best player and at 29, is at peak age for a striker. This will surely be his last World Cup as one of the planet's greatest forwards though and Poland must ensure they give him enough ammunition to get every ounce of attacking talent squeezed out of him That's not to say Poland aren't decent elsewhere. Wijciech Szczesny has turned into an excellent goalkeeper, Kamil Glik won Ligue 1 with Monaco not long ago and Arkadiusz Milik has high potential. He currently plays for Napoli and big things are expected. World Cup record: Senegal Senegal's history in the competition isn't quite as impressive and aside from that brief 2002 foray to the quarter-finals, they haven't been anywhere near it. There are some great players in the current side though - Kalidou Koulibaly is a great defender, Idrissa Gueye is like a lesser-known N'Golo Kante and you might be rather familiar with Sadio Mane. There's a lot of creativity, some midfield steel and a lot of pace in this team but Poland will be aware of it. I'd imagine Poland will look to contain the game, attack down the wings and hook crosses in for Lewandowski but will defend deep and deny space for the likes of Mane and Keita Balde to exploit on the counter. Team news will be with us very shortly so make sure you stick around to get all the updates, buildup and analysis you could possibly need. And as if this game wasn't already interesting, at the moment it looks like the unfancied Japan are about to do a number on Colombia! They're winning 2-1 with a man advantage just now - this could flip the outcome of the group.
Senegal survive late Poland onslaught to throw Group H wide open
The Senegalese players and fans were celebrating with all the gusto that you might expect for one of the greatest results in their history but it was the contrast with their manager, Aliou Cisse, which felt most significant. He simply strolled towards the beaten Poland manager Adam Nawalka and offered his hand, before calmly heading towards the tunnel in the most business-like of ways. Yes, he did reappear a few moments later to acknowledge, with a tap towards his heart, those Senegalese fans who were joyously dancing in the aisles but the overall message was clear. In Cisse’s mind, this was no great surprise and he is planning for Senegal’s World Cup to be about much more than simply becoming the first African team to win so far this summer in Russia following defeats already for Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Tunisia. “We managed to control the game tactically and emotionally - that is very important,” said Cisse. “We are not too euphoric; we have highs, lows and we are not going to jump up and down. We need to stay humble.” Such measured leadership should not be mistaken for a lack of emotion. Cisse broke down in front of his squad earlier in the week, such was the importance for him of again leading his country on world football’s biggest stage after he had previously been the captain when they reached the 2002 quarter-final. The only black manager in the tournament, he is also continuing to serve as a wonderful example to other emerging African coaches. “Senegal are proud to represent the whole continent,” he said. Good planning, tactical discipline, the presence of Sadio Mane and two fairly freakish goals ultimately settled this for Senegal. Senegal coach Aliou Cisse played in the country's 2002 World Cup team, where they reached the quarter-finals Credit: AP The first deflected off both Michal Pazdam and Thiago Cionek before going in, while the second was controversially gifted to Mbaye Niang. The Senegal striker had left the pitch for treatment and was then waved on by the fourth official just as Grzegorz Krychowiak hooked a ball back to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Niang sprinted on from the side of the pitch and reached the ball ahead of Szczesny, who had left his goal in an attempt to negate the danger, before tapping the ball into an empty net. Niang later stressed that the need for treatment had been genuine and his intention innocent but it had clearly caught Poland unaware. “Wojciech tried to save the situation,” said Nawalka. “We were very surprised. The players thought a substitute was coming on and that is why there was a big misunderstanding.” On the very same pitch as Lionel Messi so struggled against Iceland to make a decisive contribution, Mane had earlier been influential. He started on the left but, while Messi played just about the entire 90 minutes on Saturday in the area between Iceland’s midfield and defence, the Liverpool winger really magnified his own threat with his movement. There were several eye-catching passes and dribbles but it was his work off the ball that was just as impressive, especially once Poland seized control of possession during the second half. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players After Robert Lewandowski had forced a good save of Khadim N’Diaye with a free-kick, an excellent header by Krychowiak did briefly give Poland some hope. Nawalka, though, would make no attempt to hide the earlier deficiencies and effectively singled out the entire midfield for criticism. “There have been many bad elements,” he said. “The wingers didn’t do a good job and, in the centre, we didn’t do well either. Two goals following our mistakes was something we were very unhappy with. In the first half we did not play. The second half was better but too little.” World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 6:24PM Some stats for you Senegal have won 50% of their World Cup matches (3/6), the best win rate of any African nation in the competition. All three of Senegal’s World Cup wins have been against European nations (France, Sweden and Poland). Poland have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986. Poland have lost seven of their last nine World Cup matches (W2), failing to score in six of those losses. Poland are the first nation to make two errors leading to a goal in a single World Cup match so far in 2018. 6:03PM Goal controversy Slaven Bilic: "For me the referee makes a mistake, Krychowiak makes a mistake, Bednarek makes a mistake". Henrik Larsson: "I think the referee's read it very poorly there. Although the ball is in Poland's control, Bednarek doesn't see what's happening, Szczesny does but he sees it too late." 6:01PM Patrice Evra delighted I'm happy! Thank you to all the Senegal players, nobody expects them to win, no other African team has won. They played for the pride, we have to congratulate the manager, it's a good day. 5:59PM Next up The last game of today is Russia vs Egypt! Will Mo Salah make a big appearance? Will home support drive Russia onto another blockbusting performance? You can follow all the action with Alan Tyers in our liveblog here. 5:56PM Krychowiak's goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's a great photo! You can see Krychowiak beating the centre-backs to the ball. 5:54PM FULL TIME That's it! Senegal deserved the points and put on a superb performance here. They attacked with pace and purpose, created chances, coutner-attacked well and were really well drilled in defence. Poland, by way of comparison, offered hardly anything of note and were well beaten. 5:53PM 90 mins +4 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Do Poland have anything left in them? They're running out of time. But it's Senegal who are close scoring as Mane has a header in space inside the box! He cushions a header back across goal and the chance is gone, Poland get it up the pitch and are looking to get the ball into the box now. It's way more direct and now they're causing Senegal problems. 5:51PM 90 mins +2 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 The crowd are getting excited! Krychowiak is trying to win space to shoot in the box, waits, waits, waits... wins a corner. Up come the big lads... but it's a great claim by the goalkeeper. He plucks the ball out of the air and then humps the ball a mile down the pitch. 5:50PM 90 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Mane turns Cionek inside out on the left wing and earns himself a corner. Great play. It's swung in... but the referee has spotted a foul in the box and it's a free-kick. 5:48PM 88 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Well this is a lot better now. The crowd is alive, Poland are getting everyone forward. "Just get it in the box!" says an exasperated McCoist. "That's how you got your goal!" he offers, as Poland keep up the short passing. 5:46PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! POLAND ARE BACK IN IT! Poland 1 - 2 Senegal (Grzegorz Krychowiak, 86 min) A free-kick from distance is crossed into the box and Krychowiak jumps to power the header past the goalkeeper! But the VAR is checking for offside. It must be a goal... The goal stands! Brilliant header and free-kick from Poland. 5:45PM 85 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 The VAR are checking this decision! It could be a penalty... but VAR say no. Oooooh that would have been a story. 5:44PM 84 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Final sub for Poland. Piszczek off, Bereszynski on. Sarr attacks the right wing, is tackled and stays down... so Poland get the ball up the other end of the pitch. Sarr stays down for ages with a mysterious injury and the referee stops the game... but it turns out, miraculously, that Sarr is fine. The referee gestures from 50 yards for him to get up. He does.... and SARR IS IN! He's gone down in the penalty area and this could be a foul! The Poland players are FURIOUS with him! 5:42PM 82 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Possession: Poland vs Senegal Whenever Senegal get the ball they move it quickly with purpose. When they lose it they drop back and defend in numbers, ready to counter attack. There's nothing on show that suggests Poland are even bothered about the score staying like this. 5:40PM 80 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 "Just do something different to try and change the game!" McCoist says. Poland put a cross in from wide left which Kownacki heads into the ground. The atmosphere is fairly calm... but Poland are 10 minutes away from a big defeat! Where's the urgency? 5:38PM 78 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: FIFA Ally McCoist's getting wound up by the lack of adventure being shown by Poland. The fans are getting on their backs too. That makes a change from the general sound of apathy. You can actually hear it. 5:36PM 76 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Poland chip hopeful balls forward and Senegal have absolutely no problem dealing with it. Where is the imagination in this Poland team? 5:34PM 74 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Kownacki on, Milik off. He sprints over to the subs bench. 5:32PM 72 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 MILIK! That's very close. He makes a run to the near post to attack a cross from wide right but pokes it wide of the goal. Better from Poland. The game's a bit scrappy now. Gueye is booked for a late one on Krychowiak, both teams are swapping possession around the halfway line. Still Senegal look the more confident and hungry of the two. 5:29PM 70 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES And this is Krychowiak's pass which led to the goal. Poland are horrible here today. No invention, no speed, no tempo to the passes - Senegal have got their number. 5:27PM 68 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the moment Niang poked the ball beyond Szczesny for his goal. 5:26PM 66 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Great control by Sabaly. He wants the ball more than Piszczcek and steals it from him in the air, sprinting down the left wing until he hits a dead end. Senegal sitting back in a deeper shape now waiting to counter-attack Poland, who have to get more men forward now if they want to score. 5:23PM 63 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Diouf is subbed for Ndoye. Poland are raging about that goal because Niang had just come back on the pitch are leaving because he was 'injured'. It's a defensive error though - no point in blaming anyone but themselves for that error. 5:20PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! IT'S 2-0! OUT OF NOWHERE! Poland 0 - 2 Senegal (M'Baye Niang, 60 min) Krychowiak passes back to the goalkeeper but it's awful! Niang chases, Szczesny comes flying off his line way too early and the centre-back doesn't intercept.... and Niang is in! He pokes it past the goalie and then taps into an empty net! That's his first ever international goal! 5:20PM 60 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Niang goes down after contesting a header but Poland play on. Diouf is furious about it and goes charging into Krychowiak, fouling him to stop the game. Just for a second it looks like things might bubble over but heads cool as the referee calms them down. Incidentally, Niang is absolutely fine. 5:18PM 58 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland attack down the left and cross to the back post and Piszcek arrives! His effort is poor. "He didn't believe it," says McCoist as we watch the replay of that one. Poor from the Poland right-back. Miss: Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Lukasz Piszczek, 56 min) 5:15PM 56 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland vs Senegal When the average positions stats look like that it helps explain why a game might not be captivating. It's been exciting in flashes but a lot of the game has been played in midfield. 5:14PM 54 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 A quick attack down the left wing for Senegal gets Sabaly in at goal. He pulls the ball back across the box but Mane can't turn it at goal and his shot is blocked. Credit: AP Senegal have the ball in the final third, Mane switches play, the cross is whipped in from wide right and a striker swings a foot at it! He's missed the ball! If that had connected it could well have flown into the back of the net. 5:11PM 52 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Lewandowski takes the free-kick... and it's a strong save by N'Diaye at the far post. Poland have upped the tempo now and look much better than they were in the first half. 5:09PM 50 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland might have changed to 3-5-1-1 for this half. The three centre-backs should be able to nullify the Senegal front two, and that helps wing-backs get higher up the pitch to lend service to Lewandowski. Great play by Lewandowski! He steals the ball at half way, breaks away and Sane brings him down before he gets to the box. It's a clear booking and now Poland have a great free-kick opportunity. 5:07PM 48 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That's a really bad start for the half for Bednarek. His head has collided with the body of a Senegal forward and he might have jarred his neck... or at least taking a whack to the jaw. He's up and back ready to play though. 5:05PM KICK OFF 2 And we're back! Substitution for Poland though. Blaszczykowski hasn't made it out for the second half and Bednarek has replaced him. 5:03PM Gueye's goal / Cionek's own goal Credit: REUTERS Give it to the attacking player I say. Without the shot there wouldn't have been a goal! 4:59PM Bilic is great chat today "4-4-2 is back in business - Atletico, Monaco - but then at least you have one of the wingers if not both midfielders who go inside and the full-backs doing that (flying high up the wing) but none of the teams are doing that. It's two vs two." "It's easy to read," says Henrik Larsson. 4:57PM Slaven Bilic on the match "It's easy to explain why this is a boring game. Both teams play the same system so they cancel each other out. So in this kind of game a goal comes from a mistake or transition, it's like a mirror. The only players changing positions are Niang and Mane, it's very predictable." 4:55PM No shots on target by either side Poland vs Senegal shots on goal 4:49PM HALF TIME A deserved lead for Senegal and there is work to do for Poland here. They've been outclassed and need to bring a lot more to the table if they're going to get anything out of this. Average touch positions (45 + 1 min) 4:46PM 44 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland look a little pedestrian here. Credit: AFP Senegal in control of possession, taking their time, winning aerial duels, following up second balls with urgency and keeping cool. 4:44PM 42 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Sarr speeds past Rybus like a shooting star and wins a corner. It's curled out, to the six yard box and SANE IS THERE! Oh that's a bad miss! The cross has hit the penalty area and the defender has headed down into the ground and bounced the ball over the bar. That should be 2-0. 4:42PM 40 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That goal's going to count as an own goal apparently because Gueye's shot was heading wide. That sucks. Senegal are really impressive here, I wonder if Poland underestimated them a little bit. They're playing with a lot of energy and freedom but look really well drilled defensively and Poland can't get near them. 4:39PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! GUEYE HAS SCORED! Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Idrissa Gueye, 37 min) Great attack by Senegal but Poland's defending is dreadful here! Mane looks like he's going to hit it, passes it to his right and Gueye has space. He lines up the shot, fires it low and it takes a BIG deflection off Cionek and wrong-foots the goalkeeper. Senegal have the lead! 4:38PM 36 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Blaszczkowski is struggling a little bit after riding a tackle on the edge of the Senegal box but appears to be OK for now. 4:36PM 34 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Sarr controls a long switched pas son his chest beautifully, runs down the right and crosses in low... but a defender stabs it away. Senegal keep up the pressure, the ball comes in from the right again and Diouf attacks! But he can't get enough on his header, the centre-backs clear their lines and there was an offside in the buildup anyway. 4:34PM 32 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Nothing too much happening at the moment. The ball is mostly at halfway with no particular team really in control of it. Both looking to attack but losing the ball too early to do anything with it. 4:32PM 30 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Rybus runs in behind the Senegal back line but the goalkeeper comes out to claim before it becomes a problem. 4:30PM 28 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal probe the final third, keep up the high press but Poland go past it really easily and the break should be on! But as they try to come out of their own half it becomes apparent that absolutely nobody is high enough up the pitch to pass to and Senegal easily absorb the counter. 4:27PM 26 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 You can see the different approaches in this graphics: Possession: Poland vs Senegal Poland keeping more of the ball but doing it in safer positions. Senegal a little more direct and attacking the wings. Poland vs Senegal 4:25PM 24 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Credit: AFP Must be an awful pain making sure these guys are always standing in the right order. Lewandowski has tried a hopeful attempt at a volley, while off balance, from 20 yards but puts it harmlessly behind. 4:24PM 23 mins -Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal are holding their defensive shape (4-4-2) well here to deny Poland space to pass into. Poland are doing exactly the same thing, mind. 4:22PM 21 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland get up the pitch and look to have a decent chance to get the ball in the box here. It's chipped in, Milik throws himself at it and heads over. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Kamil Grosicki, 20 min) 4:21PM 19 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 All of a sudden Senegal are in! It's another quick attack, they dribble past players before making a forward pass but the shot inside the box is dragged wide. 4:18PM 16 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland attack quickly and win a corner but Senegal defend their box well and get it away, then win a throw. Senegal wait at half way to steal the ball and Sarr then goes on a dribble into the area, falls under close attention and makes an ambitious attempt at claiming a penalty. Never ever. 4:15PM 14 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Krychowiak fouls one player then lunges into another and has been booked for the first infringement. It was like he was determined to get booked there! Senegal have a free-kick about 30 yards - probably too far to shoot - but it looks like they're considering it. Sane steps up... and that's awful. He tries a knuckleball effort off the side of his foot but basically passes it out for a goal kick. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Salif Sané, 13 min) 4:13PM 11 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland are a 4-4-1-1 at the moment with Krychowiak doing a man-marking job on Mane whenever Senegal get forward on the ball. Mane puts in a great wee pass to the box but Cionek reads it well and shields until the goalkeeper can claim. 4:10PM 9 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 McCoist has pointed out the strategy at set pieces seems to be that Senegal put all their attacking players in the same position so that when they split, it's really difficult to pick up a man and stop them getting a head on any crosses into the box. Credit: FIFA Senegal have started well here. Poland seem measured and patient whereas Senegal are direct and taking the game to them. 4:08PM 7 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 According to Ally McCoist on co-comms, Senegal are heavily outnumbered in the crowd. "There are little pockets of fans but that's it" he says. Senegal win a corner, the centre-backs come forward for it. Niang prepares to take the kick... but it's cleared at the near post. 4:07PM 5 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland now keeping the ball and working forward well. Senegal have to be alert to defend as the ball is moved into the box but win possession and again come out from the back. 4:04PM 2 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal drop deep to defend a Poland attack but break into an attacking shape really quickly... then calmly pass their way out from the back. 4:02PM KICK OFF And we're off! 4:01PM National anthems done Credit: FIFA Nothing overly emotional in the national anthems and now, after ANOTHER betting advert, it's time for lovely fitba. I can't help but feel this lady is being rather presumptive. She could look quite the fool at the final whistle if Senegal turn up here today. Credit: OFFSIDE 3:55PM Here come the players 3:50PM Senegal's manager “I am certain that one day an African country will win the World Cup." Not my words, but those of Aliou Cisse, Senegal's manager and a man who really does think Senegal are in the running to do something special in this tournament. 3:47PM The last game of the first round How are you doing at Fantasy Football? The first round of games is over and if you're like me, you only have a few substitutions left to make. In my pre-tournament selection I really thought Senegal would do well here and I'm excited to see how Mane and co get on. There have been some big shocks already - Japan earlier was another! - but we're noticing some real trends. Most goals seem to come from set pieces and particularly penalties, with our old friends VAR helping out a lot. Correct decisions often mean more fouls which means more goals. 3:32PM Patrice Evra on Senegal "Don't forget about Koulibaly. Sarri made him improve a lot, he's really cool with the ball and is a massive asset for them." 3:30PM Slaven Bilic likes the look of Senegal The ITV panel are discussing how good Senegal might be. "They have something different," is Bilic's take on it. 3:27PM The World Cup in pictures This is lovely wee gallery to have a look through: Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 3:17PM Jamie Carragher on England last night Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama Our expert columnist has had his say on Raheem Sterling vs Marcus Rashford. 3:14PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 3:02PM Poland players inspecting the pitch There they are. Looking for holes and trying to find any bits of the pitch that will make the ball go super fast. 3:00PM Starting lineups Poland Szczesny, Pazdan, Cionek, Milik, Lewandowski, Krychowiak, Grosicki, Rybus, Blaszczykowski, Zielinski, Pirszczek Senegal KH. Ndiaye; Koulibaly, Gana, Sane, Diouf, Mane, Sabaly, A. Ndiaye, Ismaila, Niang, M. Wague 2:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Spartak Stadium We're in Moscow this afternoon/evening at what is usually Spartak Moscow's stadium. It looks a little something like this: Credit: GETTY IMAGES A bit like a multiplex cinema at a seaside resort. 2:43PM Senegal fans! Credit: TASS This is the first Senegal strip or flag I've seen in any of the pre-match build up photographs. Love that Senegal kit. 2:34PM What to expect from today Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Poland and Senegal's first match of the 2018 World Cup! It's a tough one to call and both teams might fancy their chances of getting all three points today - both have some really talented players and are capable of causing damage! Poland's best ever performance at the World Cup was in 1986 when they reached the semi-final: World Cup record: Poland Robert Lewandowski is by far their best player and at 29, is at peak age for a striker. This will surely be his last World Cup as one of the planet's greatest forwards though and Poland must ensure they give him enough ammunition to get every ounce of attacking talent squeezed out of him That's not to say Poland aren't decent elsewhere. Wijciech Szczesny has turned into an excellent goalkeeper, Kamil Glik won Ligue 1 with Monaco not long ago and Arkadiusz Milik has high potential. He currently plays for Napoli and big things are expected. World Cup record: Senegal Senegal's history in the competition isn't quite as impressive and aside from that brief 2002 foray to the quarter-finals, they haven't been anywhere near it. There are some great players in the current side though - Kalidou Koulibaly is a great defender, Idrissa Gueye is like a lesser-known N'Golo Kante and you might be rather familiar with Sadio Mane. There's a lot of creativity, some midfield steel and a lot of pace in this team but Poland will be aware of it. I'd imagine Poland will look to contain the game, attack down the wings and hook crosses in for Lewandowski but will defend deep and deny space for the likes of Mane and Keita Balde to exploit on the counter. Team news will be with us very shortly so make sure you stick around to get all the updates, buildup and analysis you could possibly need. And as if this game wasn't already interesting, at the moment it looks like the unfancied Japan are about to do a number on Colombia! They're winning 2-1 with a man advantage just now - this could flip the outcome of the group.
The Senegalese players and fans were celebrating with all the gusto that you might expect for one of the greatest results in their history but it was the contrast with their manager, Aliou Cisse, which felt most significant. He simply strolled towards the beaten Poland manager Adam Nawalka and offered his hand, before calmly heading towards the tunnel in the most business-like of ways. Yes, he did reappear a few moments later to acknowledge, with a tap towards his heart, those Senegalese fans who were joyously dancing in the aisles but the overall message was clear. In Cisse’s mind, this was no great surprise and he is planning for Senegal’s World Cup to be about much more than simply becoming the first African team to win so far this summer in Russia following defeats already for Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Tunisia. “We managed to control the game tactically and emotionally - that is very important,” said Cisse. “We are not too euphoric; we have highs, lows and we are not going to jump up and down. We need to stay humble.” Such measured leadership should not be mistaken for a lack of emotion. Cisse broke down in front of his squad earlier in the week, such was the importance for him of again leading his country on world football’s biggest stage after he had previously been the captain when they reached the 2002 quarter-final. The only black manager in the tournament, he is also continuing to serve as a wonderful example to other emerging African coaches. “Senegal are proud to represent the whole continent,” he said. Good planning, tactical discipline, the presence of Sadio Mane and two fairly freakish goals ultimately settled this for Senegal. Senegal coach Aliou Cisse played in the country's 2002 World Cup team, where they reached the quarter-finals Credit: AP The first deflected off both Michal Pazdam and Thiago Cionek before going in, while the second was controversially gifted to Mbaye Niang. The Senegal striker had left the pitch for treatment and was then waved on by the fourth official just as Grzegorz Krychowiak hooked a ball back to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Niang sprinted on from the side of the pitch and reached the ball ahead of Szczesny, who had left his goal in an attempt to negate the danger, before tapping the ball into an empty net. Niang later stressed that the need for treatment had been genuine and his intention innocent but it had clearly caught Poland unaware. “Wojciech tried to save the situation,” said Nawalka. “We were very surprised. The players thought a substitute was coming on and that is why there was a big misunderstanding.” On the very same pitch as Lionel Messi so struggled against Iceland to make a decisive contribution, Mane had earlier been influential. He started on the left but, while Messi played just about the entire 90 minutes on Saturday in the area between Iceland’s midfield and defence, the Liverpool winger really magnified his own threat with his movement. There were several eye-catching passes and dribbles but it was his work off the ball that was just as impressive, especially once Poland seized control of possession during the second half. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players After Robert Lewandowski had forced a good save of Khadim N’Diaye with a free-kick, an excellent header by Krychowiak did briefly give Poland some hope. Nawalka, though, would make no attempt to hide the earlier deficiencies and effectively singled out the entire midfield for criticism. “There have been many bad elements,” he said. “The wingers didn’t do a good job and, in the centre, we didn’t do well either. Two goals following our mistakes was something we were very unhappy with. In the first half we did not play. The second half was better but too little.” World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 6:24PM Some stats for you Senegal have won 50% of their World Cup matches (3/6), the best win rate of any African nation in the competition. All three of Senegal’s World Cup wins have been against European nations (France, Sweden and Poland). Poland have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986. Poland have lost seven of their last nine World Cup matches (W2), failing to score in six of those losses. Poland are the first nation to make two errors leading to a goal in a single World Cup match so far in 2018. 6:03PM Goal controversy Slaven Bilic: "For me the referee makes a mistake, Krychowiak makes a mistake, Bednarek makes a mistake". Henrik Larsson: "I think the referee's read it very poorly there. Although the ball is in Poland's control, Bednarek doesn't see what's happening, Szczesny does but he sees it too late." 6:01PM Patrice Evra delighted I'm happy! Thank you to all the Senegal players, nobody expects them to win, no other African team has won. They played for the pride, we have to congratulate the manager, it's a good day. 5:59PM Next up The last game of today is Russia vs Egypt! Will Mo Salah make a big appearance? Will home support drive Russia onto another blockbusting performance? You can follow all the action with Alan Tyers in our liveblog here. 5:56PM Krychowiak's goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's a great photo! You can see Krychowiak beating the centre-backs to the ball. 5:54PM FULL TIME That's it! Senegal deserved the points and put on a superb performance here. They attacked with pace and purpose, created chances, coutner-attacked well and were really well drilled in defence. Poland, by way of comparison, offered hardly anything of note and were well beaten. 5:53PM 90 mins +4 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Do Poland have anything left in them? They're running out of time. But it's Senegal who are close scoring as Mane has a header in space inside the box! He cushions a header back across goal and the chance is gone, Poland get it up the pitch and are looking to get the ball into the box now. It's way more direct and now they're causing Senegal problems. 5:51PM 90 mins +2 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 The crowd are getting excited! Krychowiak is trying to win space to shoot in the box, waits, waits, waits... wins a corner. Up come the big lads... but it's a great claim by the goalkeeper. He plucks the ball out of the air and then humps the ball a mile down the pitch. 5:50PM 90 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Mane turns Cionek inside out on the left wing and earns himself a corner. Great play. It's swung in... but the referee has spotted a foul in the box and it's a free-kick. 5:48PM 88 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Well this is a lot better now. The crowd is alive, Poland are getting everyone forward. "Just get it in the box!" says an exasperated McCoist. "That's how you got your goal!" he offers, as Poland keep up the short passing. 5:46PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! POLAND ARE BACK IN IT! Poland 1 - 2 Senegal (Grzegorz Krychowiak, 86 min) A free-kick from distance is crossed into the box and Krychowiak jumps to power the header past the goalkeeper! But the VAR is checking for offside. It must be a goal... The goal stands! Brilliant header and free-kick from Poland. 5:45PM 85 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 The VAR are checking this decision! It could be a penalty... but VAR say no. Oooooh that would have been a story. 5:44PM 84 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Final sub for Poland. Piszczek off, Bereszynski on. Sarr attacks the right wing, is tackled and stays down... so Poland get the ball up the other end of the pitch. Sarr stays down for ages with a mysterious injury and the referee stops the game... but it turns out, miraculously, that Sarr is fine. The referee gestures from 50 yards for him to get up. He does.... and SARR IS IN! He's gone down in the penalty area and this could be a foul! The Poland players are FURIOUS with him! 5:42PM 82 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Possession: Poland vs Senegal Whenever Senegal get the ball they move it quickly with purpose. When they lose it they drop back and defend in numbers, ready to counter attack. There's nothing on show that suggests Poland are even bothered about the score staying like this. 5:40PM 80 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 "Just do something different to try and change the game!" McCoist says. Poland put a cross in from wide left which Kownacki heads into the ground. The atmosphere is fairly calm... but Poland are 10 minutes away from a big defeat! Where's the urgency? 5:38PM 78 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: FIFA Ally McCoist's getting wound up by the lack of adventure being shown by Poland. The fans are getting on their backs too. That makes a change from the general sound of apathy. You can actually hear it. 5:36PM 76 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Poland chip hopeful balls forward and Senegal have absolutely no problem dealing with it. Where is the imagination in this Poland team? 5:34PM 74 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Kownacki on, Milik off. He sprints over to the subs bench. 5:32PM 72 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 MILIK! That's very close. He makes a run to the near post to attack a cross from wide right but pokes it wide of the goal. Better from Poland. The game's a bit scrappy now. Gueye is booked for a late one on Krychowiak, both teams are swapping possession around the halfway line. Still Senegal look the more confident and hungry of the two. 5:29PM 70 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES And this is Krychowiak's pass which led to the goal. Poland are horrible here today. No invention, no speed, no tempo to the passes - Senegal have got their number. 5:27PM 68 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the moment Niang poked the ball beyond Szczesny for his goal. 5:26PM 66 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Great control by Sabaly. He wants the ball more than Piszczcek and steals it from him in the air, sprinting down the left wing until he hits a dead end. Senegal sitting back in a deeper shape now waiting to counter-attack Poland, who have to get more men forward now if they want to score. 5:23PM 63 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Diouf is subbed for Ndoye. Poland are raging about that goal because Niang had just come back on the pitch are leaving because he was 'injured'. It's a defensive error though - no point in blaming anyone but themselves for that error. 5:20PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! IT'S 2-0! OUT OF NOWHERE! Poland 0 - 2 Senegal (M'Baye Niang, 60 min) Krychowiak passes back to the goalkeeper but it's awful! Niang chases, Szczesny comes flying off his line way too early and the centre-back doesn't intercept.... and Niang is in! He pokes it past the goalie and then taps into an empty net! That's his first ever international goal! 5:20PM 60 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Niang goes down after contesting a header but Poland play on. Diouf is furious about it and goes charging into Krychowiak, fouling him to stop the game. Just for a second it looks like things might bubble over but heads cool as the referee calms them down. Incidentally, Niang is absolutely fine. 5:18PM 58 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland attack down the left and cross to the back post and Piszcek arrives! His effort is poor. "He didn't believe it," says McCoist as we watch the replay of that one. Poor from the Poland right-back. Miss: Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Lukasz Piszczek, 56 min) 5:15PM 56 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland vs Senegal When the average positions stats look like that it helps explain why a game might not be captivating. It's been exciting in flashes but a lot of the game has been played in midfield. 5:14PM 54 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 A quick attack down the left wing for Senegal gets Sabaly in at goal. He pulls the ball back across the box but Mane can't turn it at goal and his shot is blocked. Credit: AP Senegal have the ball in the final third, Mane switches play, the cross is whipped in from wide right and a striker swings a foot at it! He's missed the ball! If that had connected it could well have flown into the back of the net. 5:11PM 52 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Lewandowski takes the free-kick... and it's a strong save by N'Diaye at the far post. Poland have upped the tempo now and look much better than they were in the first half. 5:09PM 50 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland might have changed to 3-5-1-1 for this half. The three centre-backs should be able to nullify the Senegal front two, and that helps wing-backs get higher up the pitch to lend service to Lewandowski. Great play by Lewandowski! He steals the ball at half way, breaks away and Sane brings him down before he gets to the box. It's a clear booking and now Poland have a great free-kick opportunity. 5:07PM 48 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That's a really bad start for the half for Bednarek. His head has collided with the body of a Senegal forward and he might have jarred his neck... or at least taking a whack to the jaw. He's up and back ready to play though. 5:05PM KICK OFF 2 And we're back! Substitution for Poland though. Blaszczykowski hasn't made it out for the second half and Bednarek has replaced him. 5:03PM Gueye's goal / Cionek's own goal Credit: REUTERS Give it to the attacking player I say. Without the shot there wouldn't have been a goal! 4:59PM Bilic is great chat today "4-4-2 is back in business - Atletico, Monaco - but then at least you have one of the wingers if not both midfielders who go inside and the full-backs doing that (flying high up the wing) but none of the teams are doing that. It's two vs two." "It's easy to read," says Henrik Larsson. 4:57PM Slaven Bilic on the match "It's easy to explain why this is a boring game. Both teams play the same system so they cancel each other out. So in this kind of game a goal comes from a mistake or transition, it's like a mirror. The only players changing positions are Niang and Mane, it's very predictable." 4:55PM No shots on target by either side Poland vs Senegal shots on goal 4:49PM HALF TIME A deserved lead for Senegal and there is work to do for Poland here. They've been outclassed and need to bring a lot more to the table if they're going to get anything out of this. Average touch positions (45 + 1 min) 4:46PM 44 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland look a little pedestrian here. Credit: AFP Senegal in control of possession, taking their time, winning aerial duels, following up second balls with urgency and keeping cool. 4:44PM 42 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Sarr speeds past Rybus like a shooting star and wins a corner. It's curled out, to the six yard box and SANE IS THERE! Oh that's a bad miss! The cross has hit the penalty area and the defender has headed down into the ground and bounced the ball over the bar. That should be 2-0. 4:42PM 40 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That goal's going to count as an own goal apparently because Gueye's shot was heading wide. That sucks. Senegal are really impressive here, I wonder if Poland underestimated them a little bit. They're playing with a lot of energy and freedom but look really well drilled defensively and Poland can't get near them. 4:39PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! GUEYE HAS SCORED! Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Idrissa Gueye, 37 min) Great attack by Senegal but Poland's defending is dreadful here! Mane looks like he's going to hit it, passes it to his right and Gueye has space. He lines up the shot, fires it low and it takes a BIG deflection off Cionek and wrong-foots the goalkeeper. Senegal have the lead! 4:38PM 36 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Blaszczkowski is struggling a little bit after riding a tackle on the edge of the Senegal box but appears to be OK for now. 4:36PM 34 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Sarr controls a long switched pas son his chest beautifully, runs down the right and crosses in low... but a defender stabs it away. Senegal keep up the pressure, the ball comes in from the right again and Diouf attacks! But he can't get enough on his header, the centre-backs clear their lines and there was an offside in the buildup anyway. 4:34PM 32 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Nothing too much happening at the moment. The ball is mostly at halfway with no particular team really in control of it. Both looking to attack but losing the ball too early to do anything with it. 4:32PM 30 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Rybus runs in behind the Senegal back line but the goalkeeper comes out to claim before it becomes a problem. 4:30PM 28 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal probe the final third, keep up the high press but Poland go past it really easily and the break should be on! But as they try to come out of their own half it becomes apparent that absolutely nobody is high enough up the pitch to pass to and Senegal easily absorb the counter. 4:27PM 26 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 You can see the different approaches in this graphics: Possession: Poland vs Senegal Poland keeping more of the ball but doing it in safer positions. Senegal a little more direct and attacking the wings. Poland vs Senegal 4:25PM 24 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Credit: AFP Must be an awful pain making sure these guys are always standing in the right order. Lewandowski has tried a hopeful attempt at a volley, while off balance, from 20 yards but puts it harmlessly behind. 4:24PM 23 mins -Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal are holding their defensive shape (4-4-2) well here to deny Poland space to pass into. Poland are doing exactly the same thing, mind. 4:22PM 21 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland get up the pitch and look to have a decent chance to get the ball in the box here. It's chipped in, Milik throws himself at it and heads over. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Kamil Grosicki, 20 min) 4:21PM 19 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 All of a sudden Senegal are in! It's another quick attack, they dribble past players before making a forward pass but the shot inside the box is dragged wide. 4:18PM 16 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland attack quickly and win a corner but Senegal defend their box well and get it away, then win a throw. Senegal wait at half way to steal the ball and Sarr then goes on a dribble into the area, falls under close attention and makes an ambitious attempt at claiming a penalty. Never ever. 4:15PM 14 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Krychowiak fouls one player then lunges into another and has been booked for the first infringement. It was like he was determined to get booked there! Senegal have a free-kick about 30 yards - probably too far to shoot - but it looks like they're considering it. Sane steps up... and that's awful. He tries a knuckleball effort off the side of his foot but basically passes it out for a goal kick. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Salif Sané, 13 min) 4:13PM 11 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland are a 4-4-1-1 at the moment with Krychowiak doing a man-marking job on Mane whenever Senegal get forward on the ball. Mane puts in a great wee pass to the box but Cionek reads it well and shields until the goalkeeper can claim. 4:10PM 9 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 McCoist has pointed out the strategy at set pieces seems to be that Senegal put all their attacking players in the same position so that when they split, it's really difficult to pick up a man and stop them getting a head on any crosses into the box. Credit: FIFA Senegal have started well here. Poland seem measured and patient whereas Senegal are direct and taking the game to them. 4:08PM 7 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 According to Ally McCoist on co-comms, Senegal are heavily outnumbered in the crowd. "There are little pockets of fans but that's it" he says. Senegal win a corner, the centre-backs come forward for it. Niang prepares to take the kick... but it's cleared at the near post. 4:07PM 5 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland now keeping the ball and working forward well. Senegal have to be alert to defend as the ball is moved into the box but win possession and again come out from the back. 4:04PM 2 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal drop deep to defend a Poland attack but break into an attacking shape really quickly... then calmly pass their way out from the back. 4:02PM KICK OFF And we're off! 4:01PM National anthems done Credit: FIFA Nothing overly emotional in the national anthems and now, after ANOTHER betting advert, it's time for lovely fitba. I can't help but feel this lady is being rather presumptive. She could look quite the fool at the final whistle if Senegal turn up here today. Credit: OFFSIDE 3:55PM Here come the players 3:50PM Senegal's manager “I am certain that one day an African country will win the World Cup." Not my words, but those of Aliou Cisse, Senegal's manager and a man who really does think Senegal are in the running to do something special in this tournament. 3:47PM The last game of the first round How are you doing at Fantasy Football? The first round of games is over and if you're like me, you only have a few substitutions left to make. In my pre-tournament selection I really thought Senegal would do well here and I'm excited to see how Mane and co get on. There have been some big shocks already - Japan earlier was another! - but we're noticing some real trends. Most goals seem to come from set pieces and particularly penalties, with our old friends VAR helping out a lot. Correct decisions often mean more fouls which means more goals. 3:32PM Patrice Evra on Senegal "Don't forget about Koulibaly. Sarri made him improve a lot, he's really cool with the ball and is a massive asset for them." 3:30PM Slaven Bilic likes the look of Senegal The ITV panel are discussing how good Senegal might be. "They have something different," is Bilic's take on it. 3:27PM The World Cup in pictures This is lovely wee gallery to have a look through: Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 3:17PM Jamie Carragher on England last night Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama Our expert columnist has had his say on Raheem Sterling vs Marcus Rashford. 3:14PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 3:02PM Poland players inspecting the pitch There they are. Looking for holes and trying to find any bits of the pitch that will make the ball go super fast. 3:00PM Starting lineups Poland Szczesny, Pazdan, Cionek, Milik, Lewandowski, Krychowiak, Grosicki, Rybus, Blaszczykowski, Zielinski, Pirszczek Senegal KH. Ndiaye; Koulibaly, Gana, Sane, Diouf, Mane, Sabaly, A. Ndiaye, Ismaila, Niang, M. Wague 2:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Spartak Stadium We're in Moscow this afternoon/evening at what is usually Spartak Moscow's stadium. It looks a little something like this: Credit: GETTY IMAGES A bit like a multiplex cinema at a seaside resort. 2:43PM Senegal fans! Credit: TASS This is the first Senegal strip or flag I've seen in any of the pre-match build up photographs. Love that Senegal kit. 2:34PM What to expect from today Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Poland and Senegal's first match of the 2018 World Cup! It's a tough one to call and both teams might fancy their chances of getting all three points today - both have some really talented players and are capable of causing damage! Poland's best ever performance at the World Cup was in 1986 when they reached the semi-final: World Cup record: Poland Robert Lewandowski is by far their best player and at 29, is at peak age for a striker. This will surely be his last World Cup as one of the planet's greatest forwards though and Poland must ensure they give him enough ammunition to get every ounce of attacking talent squeezed out of him That's not to say Poland aren't decent elsewhere. Wijciech Szczesny has turned into an excellent goalkeeper, Kamil Glik won Ligue 1 with Monaco not long ago and Arkadiusz Milik has high potential. He currently plays for Napoli and big things are expected. World Cup record: Senegal Senegal's history in the competition isn't quite as impressive and aside from that brief 2002 foray to the quarter-finals, they haven't been anywhere near it. There are some great players in the current side though - Kalidou Koulibaly is a great defender, Idrissa Gueye is like a lesser-known N'Golo Kante and you might be rather familiar with Sadio Mane. There's a lot of creativity, some midfield steel and a lot of pace in this team but Poland will be aware of it. I'd imagine Poland will look to contain the game, attack down the wings and hook crosses in for Lewandowski but will defend deep and deny space for the likes of Mane and Keita Balde to exploit on the counter. Team news will be with us very shortly so make sure you stick around to get all the updates, buildup and analysis you could possibly need. And as if this game wasn't already interesting, at the moment it looks like the unfancied Japan are about to do a number on Colombia! They're winning 2-1 with a man advantage just now - this could flip the outcome of the group.
Senegal survive late Poland onslaught to throw Group H wide open
The Senegalese players and fans were celebrating with all the gusto that you might expect for one of the greatest results in their history but it was the contrast with their manager, Aliou Cisse, which felt most significant. He simply strolled towards the beaten Poland manager Adam Nawalka and offered his hand, before calmly heading towards the tunnel in the most business-like of ways. Yes, he did reappear a few moments later to acknowledge, with a tap towards his heart, those Senegalese fans who were joyously dancing in the aisles but the overall message was clear. In Cisse’s mind, this was no great surprise and he is planning for Senegal’s World Cup to be about much more than simply becoming the first African team to win so far this summer in Russia following defeats already for Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Tunisia. “We managed to control the game tactically and emotionally - that is very important,” said Cisse. “We are not too euphoric; we have highs, lows and we are not going to jump up and down. We need to stay humble.” Such measured leadership should not be mistaken for a lack of emotion. Cisse broke down in front of his squad earlier in the week, such was the importance for him of again leading his country on world football’s biggest stage after he had previously been the captain when they reached the 2002 quarter-final. The only black manager in the tournament, he is also continuing to serve as a wonderful example to other emerging African coaches. “Senegal are proud to represent the whole continent,” he said. Good planning, tactical discipline, the presence of Sadio Mane and two fairly freakish goals ultimately settled this for Senegal. Senegal coach Aliou Cisse played in the country's 2002 World Cup team, where they reached the quarter-finals Credit: AP The first deflected off both Michal Pazdam and Thiago Cionek before going in, while the second was controversially gifted to Mbaye Niang. The Senegal striker had left the pitch for treatment and was then waved on by the fourth official just as Grzegorz Krychowiak hooked a ball back to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Niang sprinted on from the side of the pitch and reached the ball ahead of Szczesny, who had left his goal in an attempt to negate the danger, before tapping the ball into an empty net. Niang later stressed that the need for treatment had been genuine and his intention innocent but it had clearly caught Poland unaware. “Wojciech tried to save the situation,” said Nawalka. “We were very surprised. The players thought a substitute was coming on and that is why there was a big misunderstanding.” On the very same pitch as Lionel Messi so struggled against Iceland to make a decisive contribution, Mane had earlier been influential. He started on the left but, while Messi played just about the entire 90 minutes on Saturday in the area between Iceland’s midfield and defence, the Liverpool winger really magnified his own threat with his movement. There were several eye-catching passes and dribbles but it was his work off the ball that was just as impressive, especially once Poland seized control of possession during the second half. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players After Robert Lewandowski had forced a good save of Khadim N’Diaye with a free-kick, an excellent header by Krychowiak did briefly give Poland some hope. Nawalka, though, would make no attempt to hide the earlier deficiencies and effectively singled out the entire midfield for criticism. “There have been many bad elements,” he said. “The wingers didn’t do a good job and, in the centre, we didn’t do well either. Two goals following our mistakes was something we were very unhappy with. In the first half we did not play. The second half was better but too little.” World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 6:24PM Some stats for you Senegal have won 50% of their World Cup matches (3/6), the best win rate of any African nation in the competition. All three of Senegal’s World Cup wins have been against European nations (France, Sweden and Poland). Poland have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986. Poland have lost seven of their last nine World Cup matches (W2), failing to score in six of those losses. Poland are the first nation to make two errors leading to a goal in a single World Cup match so far in 2018. 6:03PM Goal controversy Slaven Bilic: "For me the referee makes a mistake, Krychowiak makes a mistake, Bednarek makes a mistake". Henrik Larsson: "I think the referee's read it very poorly there. Although the ball is in Poland's control, Bednarek doesn't see what's happening, Szczesny does but he sees it too late." 6:01PM Patrice Evra delighted I'm happy! Thank you to all the Senegal players, nobody expects them to win, no other African team has won. They played for the pride, we have to congratulate the manager, it's a good day. 5:59PM Next up The last game of today is Russia vs Egypt! Will Mo Salah make a big appearance? Will home support drive Russia onto another blockbusting performance? You can follow all the action with Alan Tyers in our liveblog here. 5:56PM Krychowiak's goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's a great photo! You can see Krychowiak beating the centre-backs to the ball. 5:54PM FULL TIME That's it! Senegal deserved the points and put on a superb performance here. They attacked with pace and purpose, created chances, coutner-attacked well and were really well drilled in defence. Poland, by way of comparison, offered hardly anything of note and were well beaten. 5:53PM 90 mins +4 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Do Poland have anything left in them? They're running out of time. But it's Senegal who are close scoring as Mane has a header in space inside the box! He cushions a header back across goal and the chance is gone, Poland get it up the pitch and are looking to get the ball into the box now. It's way more direct and now they're causing Senegal problems. 5:51PM 90 mins +2 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 The crowd are getting excited! Krychowiak is trying to win space to shoot in the box, waits, waits, waits... wins a corner. Up come the big lads... but it's a great claim by the goalkeeper. He plucks the ball out of the air and then humps the ball a mile down the pitch. 5:50PM 90 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Mane turns Cionek inside out on the left wing and earns himself a corner. Great play. It's swung in... but the referee has spotted a foul in the box and it's a free-kick. 5:48PM 88 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Well this is a lot better now. The crowd is alive, Poland are getting everyone forward. "Just get it in the box!" says an exasperated McCoist. "That's how you got your goal!" he offers, as Poland keep up the short passing. 5:46PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! POLAND ARE BACK IN IT! Poland 1 - 2 Senegal (Grzegorz Krychowiak, 86 min) A free-kick from distance is crossed into the box and Krychowiak jumps to power the header past the goalkeeper! But the VAR is checking for offside. It must be a goal... The goal stands! Brilliant header and free-kick from Poland. 5:45PM 85 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 The VAR are checking this decision! It could be a penalty... but VAR say no. Oooooh that would have been a story. 5:44PM 84 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Final sub for Poland. Piszczek off, Bereszynski on. Sarr attacks the right wing, is tackled and stays down... so Poland get the ball up the other end of the pitch. Sarr stays down for ages with a mysterious injury and the referee stops the game... but it turns out, miraculously, that Sarr is fine. The referee gestures from 50 yards for him to get up. He does.... and SARR IS IN! He's gone down in the penalty area and this could be a foul! The Poland players are FURIOUS with him! 5:42PM 82 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Possession: Poland vs Senegal Whenever Senegal get the ball they move it quickly with purpose. When they lose it they drop back and defend in numbers, ready to counter attack. There's nothing on show that suggests Poland are even bothered about the score staying like this. 5:40PM 80 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 "Just do something different to try and change the game!" McCoist says. Poland put a cross in from wide left which Kownacki heads into the ground. The atmosphere is fairly calm... but Poland are 10 minutes away from a big defeat! Where's the urgency? 5:38PM 78 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: FIFA Ally McCoist's getting wound up by the lack of adventure being shown by Poland. The fans are getting on their backs too. That makes a change from the general sound of apathy. You can actually hear it. 5:36PM 76 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Poland chip hopeful balls forward and Senegal have absolutely no problem dealing with it. Where is the imagination in this Poland team? 5:34PM 74 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Kownacki on, Milik off. He sprints over to the subs bench. 5:32PM 72 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 MILIK! That's very close. He makes a run to the near post to attack a cross from wide right but pokes it wide of the goal. Better from Poland. The game's a bit scrappy now. Gueye is booked for a late one on Krychowiak, both teams are swapping possession around the halfway line. Still Senegal look the more confident and hungry of the two. 5:29PM 70 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES And this is Krychowiak's pass which led to the goal. Poland are horrible here today. No invention, no speed, no tempo to the passes - Senegal have got their number. 5:27PM 68 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the moment Niang poked the ball beyond Szczesny for his goal. 5:26PM 66 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Great control by Sabaly. He wants the ball more than Piszczcek and steals it from him in the air, sprinting down the left wing until he hits a dead end. Senegal sitting back in a deeper shape now waiting to counter-attack Poland, who have to get more men forward now if they want to score. 5:23PM 63 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Diouf is subbed for Ndoye. Poland are raging about that goal because Niang had just come back on the pitch are leaving because he was 'injured'. It's a defensive error though - no point in blaming anyone but themselves for that error. 5:20PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! IT'S 2-0! OUT OF NOWHERE! Poland 0 - 2 Senegal (M'Baye Niang, 60 min) Krychowiak passes back to the goalkeeper but it's awful! Niang chases, Szczesny comes flying off his line way too early and the centre-back doesn't intercept.... and Niang is in! He pokes it past the goalie and then taps into an empty net! That's his first ever international goal! 5:20PM 60 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Niang goes down after contesting a header but Poland play on. Diouf is furious about it and goes charging into Krychowiak, fouling him to stop the game. Just for a second it looks like things might bubble over but heads cool as the referee calms them down. Incidentally, Niang is absolutely fine. 5:18PM 58 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland attack down the left and cross to the back post and Piszcek arrives! His effort is poor. "He didn't believe it," says McCoist as we watch the replay of that one. Poor from the Poland right-back. Miss: Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Lukasz Piszczek, 56 min) 5:15PM 56 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland vs Senegal When the average positions stats look like that it helps explain why a game might not be captivating. It's been exciting in flashes but a lot of the game has been played in midfield. 5:14PM 54 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 A quick attack down the left wing for Senegal gets Sabaly in at goal. He pulls the ball back across the box but Mane can't turn it at goal and his shot is blocked. Credit: AP Senegal have the ball in the final third, Mane switches play, the cross is whipped in from wide right and a striker swings a foot at it! He's missed the ball! If that had connected it could well have flown into the back of the net. 5:11PM 52 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Lewandowski takes the free-kick... and it's a strong save by N'Diaye at the far post. Poland have upped the tempo now and look much better than they were in the first half. 5:09PM 50 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland might have changed to 3-5-1-1 for this half. The three centre-backs should be able to nullify the Senegal front two, and that helps wing-backs get higher up the pitch to lend service to Lewandowski. Great play by Lewandowski! He steals the ball at half way, breaks away and Sane brings him down before he gets to the box. It's a clear booking and now Poland have a great free-kick opportunity. 5:07PM 48 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That's a really bad start for the half for Bednarek. His head has collided with the body of a Senegal forward and he might have jarred his neck... or at least taking a whack to the jaw. He's up and back ready to play though. 5:05PM KICK OFF 2 And we're back! Substitution for Poland though. Blaszczykowski hasn't made it out for the second half and Bednarek has replaced him. 5:03PM Gueye's goal / Cionek's own goal Credit: REUTERS Give it to the attacking player I say. Without the shot there wouldn't have been a goal! 4:59PM Bilic is great chat today "4-4-2 is back in business - Atletico, Monaco - but then at least you have one of the wingers if not both midfielders who go inside and the full-backs doing that (flying high up the wing) but none of the teams are doing that. It's two vs two." "It's easy to read," says Henrik Larsson. 4:57PM Slaven Bilic on the match "It's easy to explain why this is a boring game. Both teams play the same system so they cancel each other out. So in this kind of game a goal comes from a mistake or transition, it's like a mirror. The only players changing positions are Niang and Mane, it's very predictable." 4:55PM No shots on target by either side Poland vs Senegal shots on goal 4:49PM HALF TIME A deserved lead for Senegal and there is work to do for Poland here. They've been outclassed and need to bring a lot more to the table if they're going to get anything out of this. Average touch positions (45 + 1 min) 4:46PM 44 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland look a little pedestrian here. Credit: AFP Senegal in control of possession, taking their time, winning aerial duels, following up second balls with urgency and keeping cool. 4:44PM 42 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Sarr speeds past Rybus like a shooting star and wins a corner. It's curled out, to the six yard box and SANE IS THERE! Oh that's a bad miss! The cross has hit the penalty area and the defender has headed down into the ground and bounced the ball over the bar. That should be 2-0. 4:42PM 40 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That goal's going to count as an own goal apparently because Gueye's shot was heading wide. That sucks. Senegal are really impressive here, I wonder if Poland underestimated them a little bit. They're playing with a lot of energy and freedom but look really well drilled defensively and Poland can't get near them. 4:39PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! GUEYE HAS SCORED! Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Idrissa Gueye, 37 min) Great attack by Senegal but Poland's defending is dreadful here! Mane looks like he's going to hit it, passes it to his right and Gueye has space. He lines up the shot, fires it low and it takes a BIG deflection off Cionek and wrong-foots the goalkeeper. Senegal have the lead! 4:38PM 36 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Blaszczkowski is struggling a little bit after riding a tackle on the edge of the Senegal box but appears to be OK for now. 4:36PM 34 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Sarr controls a long switched pas son his chest beautifully, runs down the right and crosses in low... but a defender stabs it away. Senegal keep up the pressure, the ball comes in from the right again and Diouf attacks! But he can't get enough on his header, the centre-backs clear their lines and there was an offside in the buildup anyway. 4:34PM 32 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Nothing too much happening at the moment. The ball is mostly at halfway with no particular team really in control of it. Both looking to attack but losing the ball too early to do anything with it. 4:32PM 30 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Rybus runs in behind the Senegal back line but the goalkeeper comes out to claim before it becomes a problem. 4:30PM 28 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal probe the final third, keep up the high press but Poland go past it really easily and the break should be on! But as they try to come out of their own half it becomes apparent that absolutely nobody is high enough up the pitch to pass to and Senegal easily absorb the counter. 4:27PM 26 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 You can see the different approaches in this graphics: Possession: Poland vs Senegal Poland keeping more of the ball but doing it in safer positions. Senegal a little more direct and attacking the wings. Poland vs Senegal 4:25PM 24 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Credit: AFP Must be an awful pain making sure these guys are always standing in the right order. Lewandowski has tried a hopeful attempt at a volley, while off balance, from 20 yards but puts it harmlessly behind. 4:24PM 23 mins -Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal are holding their defensive shape (4-4-2) well here to deny Poland space to pass into. Poland are doing exactly the same thing, mind. 4:22PM 21 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland get up the pitch and look to have a decent chance to get the ball in the box here. It's chipped in, Milik throws himself at it and heads over. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Kamil Grosicki, 20 min) 4:21PM 19 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 All of a sudden Senegal are in! It's another quick attack, they dribble past players before making a forward pass but the shot inside the box is dragged wide. 4:18PM 16 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland attack quickly and win a corner but Senegal defend their box well and get it away, then win a throw. Senegal wait at half way to steal the ball and Sarr then goes on a dribble into the area, falls under close attention and makes an ambitious attempt at claiming a penalty. Never ever. 4:15PM 14 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Krychowiak fouls one player then lunges into another and has been booked for the first infringement. It was like he was determined to get booked there! Senegal have a free-kick about 30 yards - probably too far to shoot - but it looks like they're considering it. Sane steps up... and that's awful. He tries a knuckleball effort off the side of his foot but basically passes it out for a goal kick. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Salif Sané, 13 min) 4:13PM 11 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland are a 4-4-1-1 at the moment with Krychowiak doing a man-marking job on Mane whenever Senegal get forward on the ball. Mane puts in a great wee pass to the box but Cionek reads it well and shields until the goalkeeper can claim. 4:10PM 9 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 McCoist has pointed out the strategy at set pieces seems to be that Senegal put all their attacking players in the same position so that when they split, it's really difficult to pick up a man and stop them getting a head on any crosses into the box. Credit: FIFA Senegal have started well here. Poland seem measured and patient whereas Senegal are direct and taking the game to them. 4:08PM 7 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 According to Ally McCoist on co-comms, Senegal are heavily outnumbered in the crowd. "There are little pockets of fans but that's it" he says. Senegal win a corner, the centre-backs come forward for it. Niang prepares to take the kick... but it's cleared at the near post. 4:07PM 5 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland now keeping the ball and working forward well. Senegal have to be alert to defend as the ball is moved into the box but win possession and again come out from the back. 4:04PM 2 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal drop deep to defend a Poland attack but break into an attacking shape really quickly... then calmly pass their way out from the back. 4:02PM KICK OFF And we're off! 4:01PM National anthems done Credit: FIFA Nothing overly emotional in the national anthems and now, after ANOTHER betting advert, it's time for lovely fitba. I can't help but feel this lady is being rather presumptive. She could look quite the fool at the final whistle if Senegal turn up here today. Credit: OFFSIDE 3:55PM Here come the players 3:50PM Senegal's manager “I am certain that one day an African country will win the World Cup." Not my words, but those of Aliou Cisse, Senegal's manager and a man who really does think Senegal are in the running to do something special in this tournament. 3:47PM The last game of the first round How are you doing at Fantasy Football? The first round of games is over and if you're like me, you only have a few substitutions left to make. In my pre-tournament selection I really thought Senegal would do well here and I'm excited to see how Mane and co get on. There have been some big shocks already - Japan earlier was another! - but we're noticing some real trends. Most goals seem to come from set pieces and particularly penalties, with our old friends VAR helping out a lot. Correct decisions often mean more fouls which means more goals. 3:32PM Patrice Evra on Senegal "Don't forget about Koulibaly. Sarri made him improve a lot, he's really cool with the ball and is a massive asset for them." 3:30PM Slaven Bilic likes the look of Senegal The ITV panel are discussing how good Senegal might be. "They have something different," is Bilic's take on it. 3:27PM The World Cup in pictures This is lovely wee gallery to have a look through: Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 3:17PM Jamie Carragher on England last night Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama Our expert columnist has had his say on Raheem Sterling vs Marcus Rashford. 3:14PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 3:02PM Poland players inspecting the pitch There they are. Looking for holes and trying to find any bits of the pitch that will make the ball go super fast. 3:00PM Starting lineups Poland Szczesny, Pazdan, Cionek, Milik, Lewandowski, Krychowiak, Grosicki, Rybus, Blaszczykowski, Zielinski, Pirszczek Senegal KH. Ndiaye; Koulibaly, Gana, Sane, Diouf, Mane, Sabaly, A. Ndiaye, Ismaila, Niang, M. Wague 2:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Spartak Stadium We're in Moscow this afternoon/evening at what is usually Spartak Moscow's stadium. It looks a little something like this: Credit: GETTY IMAGES A bit like a multiplex cinema at a seaside resort. 2:43PM Senegal fans! Credit: TASS This is the first Senegal strip or flag I've seen in any of the pre-match build up photographs. Love that Senegal kit. 2:34PM What to expect from today Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Poland and Senegal's first match of the 2018 World Cup! It's a tough one to call and both teams might fancy their chances of getting all three points today - both have some really talented players and are capable of causing damage! Poland's best ever performance at the World Cup was in 1986 when they reached the semi-final: World Cup record: Poland Robert Lewandowski is by far their best player and at 29, is at peak age for a striker. This will surely be his last World Cup as one of the planet's greatest forwards though and Poland must ensure they give him enough ammunition to get every ounce of attacking talent squeezed out of him That's not to say Poland aren't decent elsewhere. Wijciech Szczesny has turned into an excellent goalkeeper, Kamil Glik won Ligue 1 with Monaco not long ago and Arkadiusz Milik has high potential. He currently plays for Napoli and big things are expected. World Cup record: Senegal Senegal's history in the competition isn't quite as impressive and aside from that brief 2002 foray to the quarter-finals, they haven't been anywhere near it. There are some great players in the current side though - Kalidou Koulibaly is a great defender, Idrissa Gueye is like a lesser-known N'Golo Kante and you might be rather familiar with Sadio Mane. There's a lot of creativity, some midfield steel and a lot of pace in this team but Poland will be aware of it. I'd imagine Poland will look to contain the game, attack down the wings and hook crosses in for Lewandowski but will defend deep and deny space for the likes of Mane and Keita Balde to exploit on the counter. Team news will be with us very shortly so make sure you stick around to get all the updates, buildup and analysis you could possibly need. And as if this game wasn't already interesting, at the moment it looks like the unfancied Japan are about to do a number on Colombia! They're winning 2-1 with a man advantage just now - this could flip the outcome of the group.
The Senegalese players and fans were celebrating with all the gusto that you might expect for one of the greatest results in their history but it was the contrast with their manager, Aliou Cisse, which felt most significant. He simply strolled towards the beaten Poland manager Adam Nawalka and offered his hand, before calmly heading towards the tunnel in the most business-like of ways. Yes, he did reappear a few moments later to acknowledge, with a tap towards his heart, those Senegalese fans who were joyously dancing in the aisles but the overall message was clear. In Cisse’s mind, this was no great surprise and he is planning for Senegal’s World Cup to be about much more than simply becoming the first African team to win so far this summer in Russia following defeats already for Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Tunisia. “We managed to control the game tactically and emotionally - that is very important,” said Cisse. “We are not too euphoric; we have highs, lows and we are not going to jump up and down. We need to stay humble.” Such measured leadership should not be mistaken for a lack of emotion. Cisse broke down in front of his squad earlier in the week, such was the importance for him of again leading his country on world football’s biggest stage after he had previously been the captain when they reached the 2002 quarter-final. The only black manager in the tournament, he is also continuing to serve as a wonderful example to other emerging African coaches. “Senegal are proud to represent the whole continent,” he said. Good planning, tactical discipline, the presence of Sadio Mane and two fairly freakish goals ultimately settled this for Senegal. Senegal coach Aliou Cisse played in the country's 2002 World Cup team, where they reached the quarter-finals Credit: AP The first deflected off both Michal Pazdam and Thiago Cionek before going in, while the second was controversially gifted to Mbaye Niang. The Senegal striker had left the pitch for treatment and was then waved on by the fourth official just as Grzegorz Krychowiak hooked a ball back to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Niang sprinted on from the side of the pitch and reached the ball ahead of Szczesny, who had left his goal in an attempt to negate the danger, before tapping the ball into an empty net. Niang later stressed that the need for treatment had been genuine and his intention innocent but it had clearly caught Poland unaware. “Wojciech tried to save the situation,” said Nawalka. “We were very surprised. The players thought a substitute was coming on and that is why there was a big misunderstanding.” On the very same pitch as Lionel Messi so struggled against Iceland to make a decisive contribution, Mane had earlier been influential. He started on the left but, while Messi played just about the entire 90 minutes on Saturday in the area between Iceland’s midfield and defence, the Liverpool winger really magnified his own threat with his movement. There were several eye-catching passes and dribbles but it was his work off the ball that was just as impressive, especially once Poland seized control of possession during the second half. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players After Robert Lewandowski had forced a good save of Khadim N’Diaye with a free-kick, an excellent header by Krychowiak did briefly give Poland some hope. Nawalka, though, would make no attempt to hide the earlier deficiencies and effectively singled out the entire midfield for criticism. “There have been many bad elements,” he said. “The wingers didn’t do a good job and, in the centre, we didn’t do well either. Two goals following our mistakes was something we were very unhappy with. In the first half we did not play. The second half was better but too little.” World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 6:24PM Some stats for you Senegal have won 50% of their World Cup matches (3/6), the best win rate of any African nation in the competition. All three of Senegal’s World Cup wins have been against European nations (France, Sweden and Poland). Poland have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986. Poland have lost seven of their last nine World Cup matches (W2), failing to score in six of those losses. Poland are the first nation to make two errors leading to a goal in a single World Cup match so far in 2018. 6:03PM Goal controversy Slaven Bilic: "For me the referee makes a mistake, Krychowiak makes a mistake, Bednarek makes a mistake". Henrik Larsson: "I think the referee's read it very poorly there. Although the ball is in Poland's control, Bednarek doesn't see what's happening, Szczesny does but he sees it too late." 6:01PM Patrice Evra delighted I'm happy! Thank you to all the Senegal players, nobody expects them to win, no other African team has won. They played for the pride, we have to congratulate the manager, it's a good day. 5:59PM Next up The last game of today is Russia vs Egypt! Will Mo Salah make a big appearance? Will home support drive Russia onto another blockbusting performance? You can follow all the action with Alan Tyers in our liveblog here. 5:56PM Krychowiak's goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's a great photo! You can see Krychowiak beating the centre-backs to the ball. 5:54PM FULL TIME That's it! Senegal deserved the points and put on a superb performance here. They attacked with pace and purpose, created chances, coutner-attacked well and were really well drilled in defence. Poland, by way of comparison, offered hardly anything of note and were well beaten. 5:53PM 90 mins +4 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Do Poland have anything left in them? They're running out of time. But it's Senegal who are close scoring as Mane has a header in space inside the box! He cushions a header back across goal and the chance is gone, Poland get it up the pitch and are looking to get the ball into the box now. It's way more direct and now they're causing Senegal problems. 5:51PM 90 mins +2 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 The crowd are getting excited! Krychowiak is trying to win space to shoot in the box, waits, waits, waits... wins a corner. Up come the big lads... but it's a great claim by the goalkeeper. He plucks the ball out of the air and then humps the ball a mile down the pitch. 5:50PM 90 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Mane turns Cionek inside out on the left wing and earns himself a corner. Great play. It's swung in... but the referee has spotted a foul in the box and it's a free-kick. 5:48PM 88 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Well this is a lot better now. The crowd is alive, Poland are getting everyone forward. "Just get it in the box!" says an exasperated McCoist. "That's how you got your goal!" he offers, as Poland keep up the short passing. 5:46PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! POLAND ARE BACK IN IT! Poland 1 - 2 Senegal (Grzegorz Krychowiak, 86 min) A free-kick from distance is crossed into the box and Krychowiak jumps to power the header past the goalkeeper! But the VAR is checking for offside. It must be a goal... The goal stands! Brilliant header and free-kick from Poland. 5:45PM 85 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 The VAR are checking this decision! It could be a penalty... but VAR say no. Oooooh that would have been a story. 5:44PM 84 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Final sub for Poland. Piszczek off, Bereszynski on. Sarr attacks the right wing, is tackled and stays down... so Poland get the ball up the other end of the pitch. Sarr stays down for ages with a mysterious injury and the referee stops the game... but it turns out, miraculously, that Sarr is fine. The referee gestures from 50 yards for him to get up. He does.... and SARR IS IN! He's gone down in the penalty area and this could be a foul! The Poland players are FURIOUS with him! 5:42PM 82 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Possession: Poland vs Senegal Whenever Senegal get the ball they move it quickly with purpose. When they lose it they drop back and defend in numbers, ready to counter attack. There's nothing on show that suggests Poland are even bothered about the score staying like this. 5:40PM 80 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 "Just do something different to try and change the game!" McCoist says. Poland put a cross in from wide left which Kownacki heads into the ground. The atmosphere is fairly calm... but Poland are 10 minutes away from a big defeat! Where's the urgency? 5:38PM 78 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: FIFA Ally McCoist's getting wound up by the lack of adventure being shown by Poland. The fans are getting on their backs too. That makes a change from the general sound of apathy. You can actually hear it. 5:36PM 76 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Poland chip hopeful balls forward and Senegal have absolutely no problem dealing with it. Where is the imagination in this Poland team? 5:34PM 74 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Kownacki on, Milik off. He sprints over to the subs bench. 5:32PM 72 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 MILIK! That's very close. He makes a run to the near post to attack a cross from wide right but pokes it wide of the goal. Better from Poland. The game's a bit scrappy now. Gueye is booked for a late one on Krychowiak, both teams are swapping possession around the halfway line. Still Senegal look the more confident and hungry of the two. 5:29PM 70 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES And this is Krychowiak's pass which led to the goal. Poland are horrible here today. No invention, no speed, no tempo to the passes - Senegal have got their number. 5:27PM 68 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the moment Niang poked the ball beyond Szczesny for his goal. 5:26PM 66 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Great control by Sabaly. He wants the ball more than Piszczcek and steals it from him in the air, sprinting down the left wing until he hits a dead end. Senegal sitting back in a deeper shape now waiting to counter-attack Poland, who have to get more men forward now if they want to score. 5:23PM 63 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Diouf is subbed for Ndoye. Poland are raging about that goal because Niang had just come back on the pitch are leaving because he was 'injured'. It's a defensive error though - no point in blaming anyone but themselves for that error. 5:20PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! IT'S 2-0! OUT OF NOWHERE! Poland 0 - 2 Senegal (M'Baye Niang, 60 min) Krychowiak passes back to the goalkeeper but it's awful! Niang chases, Szczesny comes flying off his line way too early and the centre-back doesn't intercept.... and Niang is in! He pokes it past the goalie and then taps into an empty net! That's his first ever international goal! 5:20PM 60 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Niang goes down after contesting a header but Poland play on. Diouf is furious about it and goes charging into Krychowiak, fouling him to stop the game. Just for a second it looks like things might bubble over but heads cool as the referee calms them down. Incidentally, Niang is absolutely fine. 5:18PM 58 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland attack down the left and cross to the back post and Piszcek arrives! His effort is poor. "He didn't believe it," says McCoist as we watch the replay of that one. Poor from the Poland right-back. Miss: Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Lukasz Piszczek, 56 min) 5:15PM 56 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland vs Senegal When the average positions stats look like that it helps explain why a game might not be captivating. It's been exciting in flashes but a lot of the game has been played in midfield. 5:14PM 54 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 A quick attack down the left wing for Senegal gets Sabaly in at goal. He pulls the ball back across the box but Mane can't turn it at goal and his shot is blocked. Credit: AP Senegal have the ball in the final third, Mane switches play, the cross is whipped in from wide right and a striker swings a foot at it! He's missed the ball! If that had connected it could well have flown into the back of the net. 5:11PM 52 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Lewandowski takes the free-kick... and it's a strong save by N'Diaye at the far post. Poland have upped the tempo now and look much better than they were in the first half. 5:09PM 50 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland might have changed to 3-5-1-1 for this half. The three centre-backs should be able to nullify the Senegal front two, and that helps wing-backs get higher up the pitch to lend service to Lewandowski. Great play by Lewandowski! He steals the ball at half way, breaks away and Sane brings him down before he gets to the box. It's a clear booking and now Poland have a great free-kick opportunity. 5:07PM 48 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That's a really bad start for the half for Bednarek. His head has collided with the body of a Senegal forward and he might have jarred his neck... or at least taking a whack to the jaw. He's up and back ready to play though. 5:05PM KICK OFF 2 And we're back! Substitution for Poland though. Blaszczykowski hasn't made it out for the second half and Bednarek has replaced him. 5:03PM Gueye's goal / Cionek's own goal Credit: REUTERS Give it to the attacking player I say. Without the shot there wouldn't have been a goal! 4:59PM Bilic is great chat today "4-4-2 is back in business - Atletico, Monaco - but then at least you have one of the wingers if not both midfielders who go inside and the full-backs doing that (flying high up the wing) but none of the teams are doing that. It's two vs two." "It's easy to read," says Henrik Larsson. 4:57PM Slaven Bilic on the match "It's easy to explain why this is a boring game. Both teams play the same system so they cancel each other out. So in this kind of game a goal comes from a mistake or transition, it's like a mirror. The only players changing positions are Niang and Mane, it's very predictable." 4:55PM No shots on target by either side Poland vs Senegal shots on goal 4:49PM HALF TIME A deserved lead for Senegal and there is work to do for Poland here. They've been outclassed and need to bring a lot more to the table if they're going to get anything out of this. Average touch positions (45 + 1 min) 4:46PM 44 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland look a little pedestrian here. Credit: AFP Senegal in control of possession, taking their time, winning aerial duels, following up second balls with urgency and keeping cool. 4:44PM 42 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Sarr speeds past Rybus like a shooting star and wins a corner. It's curled out, to the six yard box and SANE IS THERE! Oh that's a bad miss! The cross has hit the penalty area and the defender has headed down into the ground and bounced the ball over the bar. That should be 2-0. 4:42PM 40 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That goal's going to count as an own goal apparently because Gueye's shot was heading wide. That sucks. Senegal are really impressive here, I wonder if Poland underestimated them a little bit. They're playing with a lot of energy and freedom but look really well drilled defensively and Poland can't get near them. 4:39PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! GUEYE HAS SCORED! Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Idrissa Gueye, 37 min) Great attack by Senegal but Poland's defending is dreadful here! Mane looks like he's going to hit it, passes it to his right and Gueye has space. He lines up the shot, fires it low and it takes a BIG deflection off Cionek and wrong-foots the goalkeeper. Senegal have the lead! 4:38PM 36 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Blaszczkowski is struggling a little bit after riding a tackle on the edge of the Senegal box but appears to be OK for now. 4:36PM 34 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Sarr controls a long switched pas son his chest beautifully, runs down the right and crosses in low... but a defender stabs it away. Senegal keep up the pressure, the ball comes in from the right again and Diouf attacks! But he can't get enough on his header, the centre-backs clear their lines and there was an offside in the buildup anyway. 4:34PM 32 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Nothing too much happening at the moment. The ball is mostly at halfway with no particular team really in control of it. Both looking to attack but losing the ball too early to do anything with it. 4:32PM 30 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Rybus runs in behind the Senegal back line but the goalkeeper comes out to claim before it becomes a problem. 4:30PM 28 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal probe the final third, keep up the high press but Poland go past it really easily and the break should be on! But as they try to come out of their own half it becomes apparent that absolutely nobody is high enough up the pitch to pass to and Senegal easily absorb the counter. 4:27PM 26 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 You can see the different approaches in this graphics: Possession: Poland vs Senegal Poland keeping more of the ball but doing it in safer positions. Senegal a little more direct and attacking the wings. Poland vs Senegal 4:25PM 24 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Credit: AFP Must be an awful pain making sure these guys are always standing in the right order. Lewandowski has tried a hopeful attempt at a volley, while off balance, from 20 yards but puts it harmlessly behind. 4:24PM 23 mins -Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal are holding their defensive shape (4-4-2) well here to deny Poland space to pass into. Poland are doing exactly the same thing, mind. 4:22PM 21 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland get up the pitch and look to have a decent chance to get the ball in the box here. It's chipped in, Milik throws himself at it and heads over. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Kamil Grosicki, 20 min) 4:21PM 19 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 All of a sudden Senegal are in! It's another quick attack, they dribble past players before making a forward pass but the shot inside the box is dragged wide. 4:18PM 16 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland attack quickly and win a corner but Senegal defend their box well and get it away, then win a throw. Senegal wait at half way to steal the ball and Sarr then goes on a dribble into the area, falls under close attention and makes an ambitious attempt at claiming a penalty. Never ever. 4:15PM 14 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Krychowiak fouls one player then lunges into another and has been booked for the first infringement. It was like he was determined to get booked there! Senegal have a free-kick about 30 yards - probably too far to shoot - but it looks like they're considering it. Sane steps up... and that's awful. He tries a knuckleball effort off the side of his foot but basically passes it out for a goal kick. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Salif Sané, 13 min) 4:13PM 11 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland are a 4-4-1-1 at the moment with Krychowiak doing a man-marking job on Mane whenever Senegal get forward on the ball. Mane puts in a great wee pass to the box but Cionek reads it well and shields until the goalkeeper can claim. 4:10PM 9 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 McCoist has pointed out the strategy at set pieces seems to be that Senegal put all their attacking players in the same position so that when they split, it's really difficult to pick up a man and stop them getting a head on any crosses into the box. Credit: FIFA Senegal have started well here. Poland seem measured and patient whereas Senegal are direct and taking the game to them. 4:08PM 7 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 According to Ally McCoist on co-comms, Senegal are heavily outnumbered in the crowd. "There are little pockets of fans but that's it" he says. Senegal win a corner, the centre-backs come forward for it. Niang prepares to take the kick... but it's cleared at the near post. 4:07PM 5 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland now keeping the ball and working forward well. Senegal have to be alert to defend as the ball is moved into the box but win possession and again come out from the back. 4:04PM 2 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal drop deep to defend a Poland attack but break into an attacking shape really quickly... then calmly pass their way out from the back. 4:02PM KICK OFF And we're off! 4:01PM National anthems done Credit: FIFA Nothing overly emotional in the national anthems and now, after ANOTHER betting advert, it's time for lovely fitba. I can't help but feel this lady is being rather presumptive. She could look quite the fool at the final whistle if Senegal turn up here today. Credit: OFFSIDE 3:55PM Here come the players 3:50PM Senegal's manager “I am certain that one day an African country will win the World Cup." Not my words, but those of Aliou Cisse, Senegal's manager and a man who really does think Senegal are in the running to do something special in this tournament. 3:47PM The last game of the first round How are you doing at Fantasy Football? The first round of games is over and if you're like me, you only have a few substitutions left to make. In my pre-tournament selection I really thought Senegal would do well here and I'm excited to see how Mane and co get on. There have been some big shocks already - Japan earlier was another! - but we're noticing some real trends. Most goals seem to come from set pieces and particularly penalties, with our old friends VAR helping out a lot. Correct decisions often mean more fouls which means more goals. 3:32PM Patrice Evra on Senegal "Don't forget about Koulibaly. Sarri made him improve a lot, he's really cool with the ball and is a massive asset for them." 3:30PM Slaven Bilic likes the look of Senegal The ITV panel are discussing how good Senegal might be. "They have something different," is Bilic's take on it. 3:27PM The World Cup in pictures This is lovely wee gallery to have a look through: Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 3:17PM Jamie Carragher on England last night Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama Our expert columnist has had his say on Raheem Sterling vs Marcus Rashford. 3:14PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 3:02PM Poland players inspecting the pitch There they are. Looking for holes and trying to find any bits of the pitch that will make the ball go super fast. 3:00PM Starting lineups Poland Szczesny, Pazdan, Cionek, Milik, Lewandowski, Krychowiak, Grosicki, Rybus, Blaszczykowski, Zielinski, Pirszczek Senegal KH. Ndiaye; Koulibaly, Gana, Sane, Diouf, Mane, Sabaly, A. Ndiaye, Ismaila, Niang, M. Wague 2:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Spartak Stadium We're in Moscow this afternoon/evening at what is usually Spartak Moscow's stadium. It looks a little something like this: Credit: GETTY IMAGES A bit like a multiplex cinema at a seaside resort. 2:43PM Senegal fans! Credit: TASS This is the first Senegal strip or flag I've seen in any of the pre-match build up photographs. Love that Senegal kit. 2:34PM What to expect from today Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Poland and Senegal's first match of the 2018 World Cup! It's a tough one to call and both teams might fancy their chances of getting all three points today - both have some really talented players and are capable of causing damage! Poland's best ever performance at the World Cup was in 1986 when they reached the semi-final: World Cup record: Poland Robert Lewandowski is by far their best player and at 29, is at peak age for a striker. This will surely be his last World Cup as one of the planet's greatest forwards though and Poland must ensure they give him enough ammunition to get every ounce of attacking talent squeezed out of him That's not to say Poland aren't decent elsewhere. Wijciech Szczesny has turned into an excellent goalkeeper, Kamil Glik won Ligue 1 with Monaco not long ago and Arkadiusz Milik has high potential. He currently plays for Napoli and big things are expected. World Cup record: Senegal Senegal's history in the competition isn't quite as impressive and aside from that brief 2002 foray to the quarter-finals, they haven't been anywhere near it. There are some great players in the current side though - Kalidou Koulibaly is a great defender, Idrissa Gueye is like a lesser-known N'Golo Kante and you might be rather familiar with Sadio Mane. There's a lot of creativity, some midfield steel and a lot of pace in this team but Poland will be aware of it. I'd imagine Poland will look to contain the game, attack down the wings and hook crosses in for Lewandowski but will defend deep and deny space for the likes of Mane and Keita Balde to exploit on the counter. Team news will be with us very shortly so make sure you stick around to get all the updates, buildup and analysis you could possibly need. And as if this game wasn't already interesting, at the moment it looks like the unfancied Japan are about to do a number on Colombia! They're winning 2-1 with a man advantage just now - this could flip the outcome of the group.
Senegal survive late Poland onslaught to throw Group H wide open
The Senegalese players and fans were celebrating with all the gusto that you might expect for one of the greatest results in their history but it was the contrast with their manager, Aliou Cisse, which felt most significant. He simply strolled towards the beaten Poland manager Adam Nawalka and offered his hand, before calmly heading towards the tunnel in the most business-like of ways. Yes, he did reappear a few moments later to acknowledge, with a tap towards his heart, those Senegalese fans who were joyously dancing in the aisles but the overall message was clear. In Cisse’s mind, this was no great surprise and he is planning for Senegal’s World Cup to be about much more than simply becoming the first African team to win so far this summer in Russia following defeats already for Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Tunisia. “We managed to control the game tactically and emotionally - that is very important,” said Cisse. “We are not too euphoric; we have highs, lows and we are not going to jump up and down. We need to stay humble.” Such measured leadership should not be mistaken for a lack of emotion. Cisse broke down in front of his squad earlier in the week, such was the importance for him of again leading his country on world football’s biggest stage after he had previously been the captain when they reached the 2002 quarter-final. The only black manager in the tournament, he is also continuing to serve as a wonderful example to other emerging African coaches. “Senegal are proud to represent the whole continent,” he said. Good planning, tactical discipline, the presence of Sadio Mane and two fairly freakish goals ultimately settled this for Senegal. Senegal coach Aliou Cisse played in the country's 2002 World Cup team, where they reached the quarter-finals Credit: AP The first deflected off both Michal Pazdam and Thiago Cionek before going in, while the second was controversially gifted to Mbaye Niang. The Senegal striker had left the pitch for treatment and was then waved on by the fourth official just as Grzegorz Krychowiak hooked a ball back to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Niang sprinted on from the side of the pitch and reached the ball ahead of Szczesny, who had left his goal in an attempt to negate the danger, before tapping the ball into an empty net. Niang later stressed that the need for treatment had been genuine and his intention innocent but it had clearly caught Poland unaware. “Wojciech tried to save the situation,” said Nawalka. “We were very surprised. The players thought a substitute was coming on and that is why there was a big misunderstanding.” On the very same pitch as Lionel Messi so struggled against Iceland to make a decisive contribution, Mane had earlier been influential. He started on the left but, while Messi played just about the entire 90 minutes on Saturday in the area between Iceland’s midfield and defence, the Liverpool winger really magnified his own threat with his movement. There were several eye-catching passes and dribbles but it was his work off the ball that was just as impressive, especially once Poland seized control of possession during the second half. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players After Robert Lewandowski had forced a good save of Khadim N’Diaye with a free-kick, an excellent header by Krychowiak did briefly give Poland some hope. Nawalka, though, would make no attempt to hide the earlier deficiencies and effectively singled out the entire midfield for criticism. “There have been many bad elements,” he said. “The wingers didn’t do a good job and, in the centre, we didn’t do well either. Two goals following our mistakes was something we were very unhappy with. In the first half we did not play. The second half was better but too little.” World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 6:24PM Some stats for you Senegal have won 50% of their World Cup matches (3/6), the best win rate of any African nation in the competition. All three of Senegal’s World Cup wins have been against European nations (France, Sweden and Poland). Poland have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986. Poland have lost seven of their last nine World Cup matches (W2), failing to score in six of those losses. Poland are the first nation to make two errors leading to a goal in a single World Cup match so far in 2018. 6:03PM Goal controversy Slaven Bilic: "For me the referee makes a mistake, Krychowiak makes a mistake, Bednarek makes a mistake". Henrik Larsson: "I think the referee's read it very poorly there. Although the ball is in Poland's control, Bednarek doesn't see what's happening, Szczesny does but he sees it too late." 6:01PM Patrice Evra delighted I'm happy! Thank you to all the Senegal players, nobody expects them to win, no other African team has won. They played for the pride, we have to congratulate the manager, it's a good day. 5:59PM Next up The last game of today is Russia vs Egypt! Will Mo Salah make a big appearance? Will home support drive Russia onto another blockbusting performance? You can follow all the action with Alan Tyers in our liveblog here. 5:56PM Krychowiak's goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's a great photo! You can see Krychowiak beating the centre-backs to the ball. 5:54PM FULL TIME That's it! Senegal deserved the points and put on a superb performance here. They attacked with pace and purpose, created chances, coutner-attacked well and were really well drilled in defence. Poland, by way of comparison, offered hardly anything of note and were well beaten. 5:53PM 90 mins +4 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Do Poland have anything left in them? They're running out of time. But it's Senegal who are close scoring as Mane has a header in space inside the box! He cushions a header back across goal and the chance is gone, Poland get it up the pitch and are looking to get the ball into the box now. It's way more direct and now they're causing Senegal problems. 5:51PM 90 mins +2 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 The crowd are getting excited! Krychowiak is trying to win space to shoot in the box, waits, waits, waits... wins a corner. Up come the big lads... but it's a great claim by the goalkeeper. He plucks the ball out of the air and then humps the ball a mile down the pitch. 5:50PM 90 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Mane turns Cionek inside out on the left wing and earns himself a corner. Great play. It's swung in... but the referee has spotted a foul in the box and it's a free-kick. 5:48PM 88 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Well this is a lot better now. The crowd is alive, Poland are getting everyone forward. "Just get it in the box!" says an exasperated McCoist. "That's how you got your goal!" he offers, as Poland keep up the short passing. 5:46PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! POLAND ARE BACK IN IT! Poland 1 - 2 Senegal (Grzegorz Krychowiak, 86 min) A free-kick from distance is crossed into the box and Krychowiak jumps to power the header past the goalkeeper! But the VAR is checking for offside. It must be a goal... The goal stands! Brilliant header and free-kick from Poland. 5:45PM 85 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 The VAR are checking this decision! It could be a penalty... but VAR say no. Oooooh that would have been a story. 5:44PM 84 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Final sub for Poland. Piszczek off, Bereszynski on. Sarr attacks the right wing, is tackled and stays down... so Poland get the ball up the other end of the pitch. Sarr stays down for ages with a mysterious injury and the referee stops the game... but it turns out, miraculously, that Sarr is fine. The referee gestures from 50 yards for him to get up. He does.... and SARR IS IN! He's gone down in the penalty area and this could be a foul! The Poland players are FURIOUS with him! 5:42PM 82 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Possession: Poland vs Senegal Whenever Senegal get the ball they move it quickly with purpose. When they lose it they drop back and defend in numbers, ready to counter attack. There's nothing on show that suggests Poland are even bothered about the score staying like this. 5:40PM 80 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 "Just do something different to try and change the game!" McCoist says. Poland put a cross in from wide left which Kownacki heads into the ground. The atmosphere is fairly calm... but Poland are 10 minutes away from a big defeat! Where's the urgency? 5:38PM 78 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: FIFA Ally McCoist's getting wound up by the lack of adventure being shown by Poland. The fans are getting on their backs too. That makes a change from the general sound of apathy. You can actually hear it. 5:36PM 76 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Poland chip hopeful balls forward and Senegal have absolutely no problem dealing with it. Where is the imagination in this Poland team? 5:34PM 74 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Kownacki on, Milik off. He sprints over to the subs bench. 5:32PM 72 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 MILIK! That's very close. He makes a run to the near post to attack a cross from wide right but pokes it wide of the goal. Better from Poland. The game's a bit scrappy now. Gueye is booked for a late one on Krychowiak, both teams are swapping possession around the halfway line. Still Senegal look the more confident and hungry of the two. 5:29PM 70 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES And this is Krychowiak's pass which led to the goal. Poland are horrible here today. No invention, no speed, no tempo to the passes - Senegal have got their number. 5:27PM 68 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the moment Niang poked the ball beyond Szczesny for his goal. 5:26PM 66 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Great control by Sabaly. He wants the ball more than Piszczcek and steals it from him in the air, sprinting down the left wing until he hits a dead end. Senegal sitting back in a deeper shape now waiting to counter-attack Poland, who have to get more men forward now if they want to score. 5:23PM 63 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Diouf is subbed for Ndoye. Poland are raging about that goal because Niang had just come back on the pitch are leaving because he was 'injured'. It's a defensive error though - no point in blaming anyone but themselves for that error. 5:20PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! IT'S 2-0! OUT OF NOWHERE! Poland 0 - 2 Senegal (M'Baye Niang, 60 min) Krychowiak passes back to the goalkeeper but it's awful! Niang chases, Szczesny comes flying off his line way too early and the centre-back doesn't intercept.... and Niang is in! He pokes it past the goalie and then taps into an empty net! That's his first ever international goal! 5:20PM 60 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Niang goes down after contesting a header but Poland play on. Diouf is furious about it and goes charging into Krychowiak, fouling him to stop the game. Just for a second it looks like things might bubble over but heads cool as the referee calms them down. Incidentally, Niang is absolutely fine. 5:18PM 58 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland attack down the left and cross to the back post and Piszcek arrives! His effort is poor. "He didn't believe it," says McCoist as we watch the replay of that one. Poor from the Poland right-back. Miss: Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Lukasz Piszczek, 56 min) 5:15PM 56 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland vs Senegal When the average positions stats look like that it helps explain why a game might not be captivating. It's been exciting in flashes but a lot of the game has been played in midfield. 5:14PM 54 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 A quick attack down the left wing for Senegal gets Sabaly in at goal. He pulls the ball back across the box but Mane can't turn it at goal and his shot is blocked. Credit: AP Senegal have the ball in the final third, Mane switches play, the cross is whipped in from wide right and a striker swings a foot at it! He's missed the ball! If that had connected it could well have flown into the back of the net. 5:11PM 52 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Lewandowski takes the free-kick... and it's a strong save by N'Diaye at the far post. Poland have upped the tempo now and look much better than they were in the first half. 5:09PM 50 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland might have changed to 3-5-1-1 for this half. The three centre-backs should be able to nullify the Senegal front two, and that helps wing-backs get higher up the pitch to lend service to Lewandowski. Great play by Lewandowski! He steals the ball at half way, breaks away and Sane brings him down before he gets to the box. It's a clear booking and now Poland have a great free-kick opportunity. 5:07PM 48 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That's a really bad start for the half for Bednarek. His head has collided with the body of a Senegal forward and he might have jarred his neck... or at least taking a whack to the jaw. He's up and back ready to play though. 5:05PM KICK OFF 2 And we're back! Substitution for Poland though. Blaszczykowski hasn't made it out for the second half and Bednarek has replaced him. 5:03PM Gueye's goal / Cionek's own goal Credit: REUTERS Give it to the attacking player I say. Without the shot there wouldn't have been a goal! 4:59PM Bilic is great chat today "4-4-2 is back in business - Atletico, Monaco - but then at least you have one of the wingers if not both midfielders who go inside and the full-backs doing that (flying high up the wing) but none of the teams are doing that. It's two vs two." "It's easy to read," says Henrik Larsson. 4:57PM Slaven Bilic on the match "It's easy to explain why this is a boring game. Both teams play the same system so they cancel each other out. So in this kind of game a goal comes from a mistake or transition, it's like a mirror. The only players changing positions are Niang and Mane, it's very predictable." 4:55PM No shots on target by either side Poland vs Senegal shots on goal 4:49PM HALF TIME A deserved lead for Senegal and there is work to do for Poland here. They've been outclassed and need to bring a lot more to the table if they're going to get anything out of this. Average touch positions (45 + 1 min) 4:46PM 44 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland look a little pedestrian here. Credit: AFP Senegal in control of possession, taking their time, winning aerial duels, following up second balls with urgency and keeping cool. 4:44PM 42 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Sarr speeds past Rybus like a shooting star and wins a corner. It's curled out, to the six yard box and SANE IS THERE! Oh that's a bad miss! The cross has hit the penalty area and the defender has headed down into the ground and bounced the ball over the bar. That should be 2-0. 4:42PM 40 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That goal's going to count as an own goal apparently because Gueye's shot was heading wide. That sucks. Senegal are really impressive here, I wonder if Poland underestimated them a little bit. They're playing with a lot of energy and freedom but look really well drilled defensively and Poland can't get near them. 4:39PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! GUEYE HAS SCORED! Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Idrissa Gueye, 37 min) Great attack by Senegal but Poland's defending is dreadful here! Mane looks like he's going to hit it, passes it to his right and Gueye has space. He lines up the shot, fires it low and it takes a BIG deflection off Cionek and wrong-foots the goalkeeper. Senegal have the lead! 4:38PM 36 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Blaszczkowski is struggling a little bit after riding a tackle on the edge of the Senegal box but appears to be OK for now. 4:36PM 34 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Sarr controls a long switched pas son his chest beautifully, runs down the right and crosses in low... but a defender stabs it away. Senegal keep up the pressure, the ball comes in from the right again and Diouf attacks! But he can't get enough on his header, the centre-backs clear their lines and there was an offside in the buildup anyway. 4:34PM 32 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Nothing too much happening at the moment. The ball is mostly at halfway with no particular team really in control of it. Both looking to attack but losing the ball too early to do anything with it. 4:32PM 30 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Rybus runs in behind the Senegal back line but the goalkeeper comes out to claim before it becomes a problem. 4:30PM 28 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal probe the final third, keep up the high press but Poland go past it really easily and the break should be on! But as they try to come out of their own half it becomes apparent that absolutely nobody is high enough up the pitch to pass to and Senegal easily absorb the counter. 4:27PM 26 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 You can see the different approaches in this graphics: Possession: Poland vs Senegal Poland keeping more of the ball but doing it in safer positions. Senegal a little more direct and attacking the wings. Poland vs Senegal 4:25PM 24 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Credit: AFP Must be an awful pain making sure these guys are always standing in the right order. Lewandowski has tried a hopeful attempt at a volley, while off balance, from 20 yards but puts it harmlessly behind. 4:24PM 23 mins -Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal are holding their defensive shape (4-4-2) well here to deny Poland space to pass into. Poland are doing exactly the same thing, mind. 4:22PM 21 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland get up the pitch and look to have a decent chance to get the ball in the box here. It's chipped in, Milik throws himself at it and heads over. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Kamil Grosicki, 20 min) 4:21PM 19 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 All of a sudden Senegal are in! It's another quick attack, they dribble past players before making a forward pass but the shot inside the box is dragged wide. 4:18PM 16 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland attack quickly and win a corner but Senegal defend their box well and get it away, then win a throw. Senegal wait at half way to steal the ball and Sarr then goes on a dribble into the area, falls under close attention and makes an ambitious attempt at claiming a penalty. Never ever. 4:15PM 14 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Krychowiak fouls one player then lunges into another and has been booked for the first infringement. It was like he was determined to get booked there! Senegal have a free-kick about 30 yards - probably too far to shoot - but it looks like they're considering it. Sane steps up... and that's awful. He tries a knuckleball effort off the side of his foot but basically passes it out for a goal kick. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Salif Sané, 13 min) 4:13PM 11 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland are a 4-4-1-1 at the moment with Krychowiak doing a man-marking job on Mane whenever Senegal get forward on the ball. Mane puts in a great wee pass to the box but Cionek reads it well and shields until the goalkeeper can claim. 4:10PM 9 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 McCoist has pointed out the strategy at set pieces seems to be that Senegal put all their attacking players in the same position so that when they split, it's really difficult to pick up a man and stop them getting a head on any crosses into the box. Credit: FIFA Senegal have started well here. Poland seem measured and patient whereas Senegal are direct and taking the game to them. 4:08PM 7 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 According to Ally McCoist on co-comms, Senegal are heavily outnumbered in the crowd. "There are little pockets of fans but that's it" he says. Senegal win a corner, the centre-backs come forward for it. Niang prepares to take the kick... but it's cleared at the near post. 4:07PM 5 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland now keeping the ball and working forward well. Senegal have to be alert to defend as the ball is moved into the box but win possession and again come out from the back. 4:04PM 2 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal drop deep to defend a Poland attack but break into an attacking shape really quickly... then calmly pass their way out from the back. 4:02PM KICK OFF And we're off! 4:01PM National anthems done Credit: FIFA Nothing overly emotional in the national anthems and now, after ANOTHER betting advert, it's time for lovely fitba. I can't help but feel this lady is being rather presumptive. She could look quite the fool at the final whistle if Senegal turn up here today. Credit: OFFSIDE 3:55PM Here come the players 3:50PM Senegal's manager “I am certain that one day an African country will win the World Cup." Not my words, but those of Aliou Cisse, Senegal's manager and a man who really does think Senegal are in the running to do something special in this tournament. 3:47PM The last game of the first round How are you doing at Fantasy Football? The first round of games is over and if you're like me, you only have a few substitutions left to make. In my pre-tournament selection I really thought Senegal would do well here and I'm excited to see how Mane and co get on. There have been some big shocks already - Japan earlier was another! - but we're noticing some real trends. Most goals seem to come from set pieces and particularly penalties, with our old friends VAR helping out a lot. Correct decisions often mean more fouls which means more goals. 3:32PM Patrice Evra on Senegal "Don't forget about Koulibaly. Sarri made him improve a lot, he's really cool with the ball and is a massive asset for them." 3:30PM Slaven Bilic likes the look of Senegal The ITV panel are discussing how good Senegal might be. "They have something different," is Bilic's take on it. 3:27PM The World Cup in pictures This is lovely wee gallery to have a look through: Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 3:17PM Jamie Carragher on England last night Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama Our expert columnist has had his say on Raheem Sterling vs Marcus Rashford. 3:14PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 3:02PM Poland players inspecting the pitch There they are. Looking for holes and trying to find any bits of the pitch that will make the ball go super fast. 3:00PM Starting lineups Poland Szczesny, Pazdan, Cionek, Milik, Lewandowski, Krychowiak, Grosicki, Rybus, Blaszczykowski, Zielinski, Pirszczek Senegal KH. Ndiaye; Koulibaly, Gana, Sane, Diouf, Mane, Sabaly, A. Ndiaye, Ismaila, Niang, M. Wague 2:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Spartak Stadium We're in Moscow this afternoon/evening at what is usually Spartak Moscow's stadium. It looks a little something like this: Credit: GETTY IMAGES A bit like a multiplex cinema at a seaside resort. 2:43PM Senegal fans! Credit: TASS This is the first Senegal strip or flag I've seen in any of the pre-match build up photographs. Love that Senegal kit. 2:34PM What to expect from today Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Poland and Senegal's first match of the 2018 World Cup! It's a tough one to call and both teams might fancy their chances of getting all three points today - both have some really talented players and are capable of causing damage! Poland's best ever performance at the World Cup was in 1986 when they reached the semi-final: World Cup record: Poland Robert Lewandowski is by far their best player and at 29, is at peak age for a striker. This will surely be his last World Cup as one of the planet's greatest forwards though and Poland must ensure they give him enough ammunition to get every ounce of attacking talent squeezed out of him That's not to say Poland aren't decent elsewhere. Wijciech Szczesny has turned into an excellent goalkeeper, Kamil Glik won Ligue 1 with Monaco not long ago and Arkadiusz Milik has high potential. He currently plays for Napoli and big things are expected. World Cup record: Senegal Senegal's history in the competition isn't quite as impressive and aside from that brief 2002 foray to the quarter-finals, they haven't been anywhere near it. There are some great players in the current side though - Kalidou Koulibaly is a great defender, Idrissa Gueye is like a lesser-known N'Golo Kante and you might be rather familiar with Sadio Mane. There's a lot of creativity, some midfield steel and a lot of pace in this team but Poland will be aware of it. I'd imagine Poland will look to contain the game, attack down the wings and hook crosses in for Lewandowski but will defend deep and deny space for the likes of Mane and Keita Balde to exploit on the counter. Team news will be with us very shortly so make sure you stick around to get all the updates, buildup and analysis you could possibly need. And as if this game wasn't already interesting, at the moment it looks like the unfancied Japan are about to do a number on Colombia! They're winning 2-1 with a man advantage just now - this could flip the outcome of the group.
The Senegalese players and fans were celebrating with all the gusto that you might expect for one of the greatest results in their history but it was the contrast with their manager, Aliou Cisse, which felt most significant. He simply strolled towards the beaten Poland manager Adam Nawalka and offered his hand, before calmly heading towards the tunnel in the most business-like of ways. Yes, he did reappear a few moments later to acknowledge, with a tap towards his heart, those Senegalese fans who were joyously dancing in the aisles but the overall message was clear. In Cisse’s mind, this was no great surprise and he is planning for Senegal’s World Cup to be about much more than simply becoming the first African team to win so far this summer in Russia following defeats already for Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Tunisia. “We managed to control the game tactically and emotionally - that is very important,” said Cisse. “We are not too euphoric; we have highs, lows and we are not going to jump up and down. We need to stay humble.” Such measured leadership should not be mistaken for a lack of emotion. Cisse broke down in front of his squad earlier in the week, such was the importance for him of again leading his country on world football’s biggest stage after he had previously been the captain when they reached the 2002 quarter-final. The only black manager in the tournament, he is also continuing to serve as a wonderful example to other emerging African coaches. “Senegal are proud to represent the whole continent,” he said. Good planning, tactical discipline, the presence of Sadio Mane and two fairly freakish goals ultimately settled this for Senegal. Senegal coach Aliou Cisse played in the country's 2002 World Cup team, where they reached the quarter-finals Credit: AP The first deflected off both Michal Pazdam and Thiago Cionek before going in, while the second was controversially gifted to Mbaye Niang. The Senegal striker had left the pitch for treatment and was then waved on by the fourth official just as Grzegorz Krychowiak hooked a ball back to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Niang sprinted on from the side of the pitch and reached the ball ahead of Szczesny, who had left his goal in an attempt to negate the danger, before tapping the ball into an empty net. Niang later stressed that the need for treatment had been genuine and his intention innocent but it had clearly caught Poland unaware. “Wojciech tried to save the situation,” said Nawalka. “We were very surprised. The players thought a substitute was coming on and that is why there was a big misunderstanding.” On the very same pitch as Lionel Messi so struggled against Iceland to make a decisive contribution, Mane had earlier been influential. He started on the left but, while Messi played just about the entire 90 minutes on Saturday in the area between Iceland’s midfield and defence, the Liverpool winger really magnified his own threat with his movement. There were several eye-catching passes and dribbles but it was his work off the ball that was just as impressive, especially once Poland seized control of possession during the second half. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players After Robert Lewandowski had forced a good save of Khadim N’Diaye with a free-kick, an excellent header by Krychowiak did briefly give Poland some hope. Nawalka, though, would make no attempt to hide the earlier deficiencies and effectively singled out the entire midfield for criticism. “There have been many bad elements,” he said. “The wingers didn’t do a good job and, in the centre, we didn’t do well either. Two goals following our mistakes was something we were very unhappy with. In the first half we did not play. The second half was better but too little.” World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 6:24PM Some stats for you Senegal have won 50% of their World Cup matches (3/6), the best win rate of any African nation in the competition. All three of Senegal’s World Cup wins have been against European nations (France, Sweden and Poland). Poland have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986. Poland have lost seven of their last nine World Cup matches (W2), failing to score in six of those losses. Poland are the first nation to make two errors leading to a goal in a single World Cup match so far in 2018. 6:03PM Goal controversy Slaven Bilic: "For me the referee makes a mistake, Krychowiak makes a mistake, Bednarek makes a mistake". Henrik Larsson: "I think the referee's read it very poorly there. Although the ball is in Poland's control, Bednarek doesn't see what's happening, Szczesny does but he sees it too late." 6:01PM Patrice Evra delighted I'm happy! Thank you to all the Senegal players, nobody expects them to win, no other African team has won. They played for the pride, we have to congratulate the manager, it's a good day. 5:59PM Next up The last game of today is Russia vs Egypt! Will Mo Salah make a big appearance? Will home support drive Russia onto another blockbusting performance? You can follow all the action with Alan Tyers in our liveblog here. 5:56PM Krychowiak's goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's a great photo! You can see Krychowiak beating the centre-backs to the ball. 5:54PM FULL TIME That's it! Senegal deserved the points and put on a superb performance here. They attacked with pace and purpose, created chances, coutner-attacked well and were really well drilled in defence. Poland, by way of comparison, offered hardly anything of note and were well beaten. 5:53PM 90 mins +4 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Do Poland have anything left in them? They're running out of time. But it's Senegal who are close scoring as Mane has a header in space inside the box! He cushions a header back across goal and the chance is gone, Poland get it up the pitch and are looking to get the ball into the box now. It's way more direct and now they're causing Senegal problems. 5:51PM 90 mins +2 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 The crowd are getting excited! Krychowiak is trying to win space to shoot in the box, waits, waits, waits... wins a corner. Up come the big lads... but it's a great claim by the goalkeeper. He plucks the ball out of the air and then humps the ball a mile down the pitch. 5:50PM 90 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Mane turns Cionek inside out on the left wing and earns himself a corner. Great play. It's swung in... but the referee has spotted a foul in the box and it's a free-kick. 5:48PM 88 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Well this is a lot better now. The crowd is alive, Poland are getting everyone forward. "Just get it in the box!" says an exasperated McCoist. "That's how you got your goal!" he offers, as Poland keep up the short passing. 5:46PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! POLAND ARE BACK IN IT! Poland 1 - 2 Senegal (Grzegorz Krychowiak, 86 min) A free-kick from distance is crossed into the box and Krychowiak jumps to power the header past the goalkeeper! But the VAR is checking for offside. It must be a goal... The goal stands! Brilliant header and free-kick from Poland. 5:45PM 85 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 The VAR are checking this decision! It could be a penalty... but VAR say no. Oooooh that would have been a story. 5:44PM 84 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Final sub for Poland. Piszczek off, Bereszynski on. Sarr attacks the right wing, is tackled and stays down... so Poland get the ball up the other end of the pitch. Sarr stays down for ages with a mysterious injury and the referee stops the game... but it turns out, miraculously, that Sarr is fine. The referee gestures from 50 yards for him to get up. He does.... and SARR IS IN! He's gone down in the penalty area and this could be a foul! The Poland players are FURIOUS with him! 5:42PM 82 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Possession: Poland vs Senegal Whenever Senegal get the ball they move it quickly with purpose. When they lose it they drop back and defend in numbers, ready to counter attack. There's nothing on show that suggests Poland are even bothered about the score staying like this. 5:40PM 80 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 "Just do something different to try and change the game!" McCoist says. Poland put a cross in from wide left which Kownacki heads into the ground. The atmosphere is fairly calm... but Poland are 10 minutes away from a big defeat! Where's the urgency? 5:38PM 78 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: FIFA Ally McCoist's getting wound up by the lack of adventure being shown by Poland. The fans are getting on their backs too. That makes a change from the general sound of apathy. You can actually hear it. 5:36PM 76 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Poland chip hopeful balls forward and Senegal have absolutely no problem dealing with it. Where is the imagination in this Poland team? 5:34PM 74 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Kownacki on, Milik off. He sprints over to the subs bench. 5:32PM 72 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 MILIK! That's very close. He makes a run to the near post to attack a cross from wide right but pokes it wide of the goal. Better from Poland. The game's a bit scrappy now. Gueye is booked for a late one on Krychowiak, both teams are swapping possession around the halfway line. Still Senegal look the more confident and hungry of the two. 5:29PM 70 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES And this is Krychowiak's pass which led to the goal. Poland are horrible here today. No invention, no speed, no tempo to the passes - Senegal have got their number. 5:27PM 68 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the moment Niang poked the ball beyond Szczesny for his goal. 5:26PM 66 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Great control by Sabaly. He wants the ball more than Piszczcek and steals it from him in the air, sprinting down the left wing until he hits a dead end. Senegal sitting back in a deeper shape now waiting to counter-attack Poland, who have to get more men forward now if they want to score. 5:23PM 63 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Diouf is subbed for Ndoye. Poland are raging about that goal because Niang had just come back on the pitch are leaving because he was 'injured'. It's a defensive error though - no point in blaming anyone but themselves for that error. 5:20PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! IT'S 2-0! OUT OF NOWHERE! Poland 0 - 2 Senegal (M'Baye Niang, 60 min) Krychowiak passes back to the goalkeeper but it's awful! Niang chases, Szczesny comes flying off his line way too early and the centre-back doesn't intercept.... and Niang is in! He pokes it past the goalie and then taps into an empty net! That's his first ever international goal! 5:20PM 60 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Niang goes down after contesting a header but Poland play on. Diouf is furious about it and goes charging into Krychowiak, fouling him to stop the game. Just for a second it looks like things might bubble over but heads cool as the referee calms them down. Incidentally, Niang is absolutely fine. 5:18PM 58 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland attack down the left and cross to the back post and Piszcek arrives! His effort is poor. "He didn't believe it," says McCoist as we watch the replay of that one. Poor from the Poland right-back. Miss: Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Lukasz Piszczek, 56 min) 5:15PM 56 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland vs Senegal When the average positions stats look like that it helps explain why a game might not be captivating. It's been exciting in flashes but a lot of the game has been played in midfield. 5:14PM 54 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 A quick attack down the left wing for Senegal gets Sabaly in at goal. He pulls the ball back across the box but Mane can't turn it at goal and his shot is blocked. Credit: AP Senegal have the ball in the final third, Mane switches play, the cross is whipped in from wide right and a striker swings a foot at it! He's missed the ball! If that had connected it could well have flown into the back of the net. 5:11PM 52 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Lewandowski takes the free-kick... and it's a strong save by N'Diaye at the far post. Poland have upped the tempo now and look much better than they were in the first half. 5:09PM 50 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland might have changed to 3-5-1-1 for this half. The three centre-backs should be able to nullify the Senegal front two, and that helps wing-backs get higher up the pitch to lend service to Lewandowski. Great play by Lewandowski! He steals the ball at half way, breaks away and Sane brings him down before he gets to the box. It's a clear booking and now Poland have a great free-kick opportunity. 5:07PM 48 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That's a really bad start for the half for Bednarek. His head has collided with the body of a Senegal forward and he might have jarred his neck... or at least taking a whack to the jaw. He's up and back ready to play though. 5:05PM KICK OFF 2 And we're back! Substitution for Poland though. Blaszczykowski hasn't made it out for the second half and Bednarek has replaced him. 5:03PM Gueye's goal / Cionek's own goal Credit: REUTERS Give it to the attacking player I say. Without the shot there wouldn't have been a goal! 4:59PM Bilic is great chat today "4-4-2 is back in business - Atletico, Monaco - but then at least you have one of the wingers if not both midfielders who go inside and the full-backs doing that (flying high up the wing) but none of the teams are doing that. It's two vs two." "It's easy to read," says Henrik Larsson. 4:57PM Slaven Bilic on the match "It's easy to explain why this is a boring game. Both teams play the same system so they cancel each other out. So in this kind of game a goal comes from a mistake or transition, it's like a mirror. The only players changing positions are Niang and Mane, it's very predictable." 4:55PM No shots on target by either side Poland vs Senegal shots on goal 4:49PM HALF TIME A deserved lead for Senegal and there is work to do for Poland here. They've been outclassed and need to bring a lot more to the table if they're going to get anything out of this. Average touch positions (45 + 1 min) 4:46PM 44 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland look a little pedestrian here. Credit: AFP Senegal in control of possession, taking their time, winning aerial duels, following up second balls with urgency and keeping cool. 4:44PM 42 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Sarr speeds past Rybus like a shooting star and wins a corner. It's curled out, to the six yard box and SANE IS THERE! Oh that's a bad miss! The cross has hit the penalty area and the defender has headed down into the ground and bounced the ball over the bar. That should be 2-0. 4:42PM 40 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That goal's going to count as an own goal apparently because Gueye's shot was heading wide. That sucks. Senegal are really impressive here, I wonder if Poland underestimated them a little bit. They're playing with a lot of energy and freedom but look really well drilled defensively and Poland can't get near them. 4:39PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! GUEYE HAS SCORED! Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Idrissa Gueye, 37 min) Great attack by Senegal but Poland's defending is dreadful here! Mane looks like he's going to hit it, passes it to his right and Gueye has space. He lines up the shot, fires it low and it takes a BIG deflection off Cionek and wrong-foots the goalkeeper. Senegal have the lead! 4:38PM 36 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Blaszczkowski is struggling a little bit after riding a tackle on the edge of the Senegal box but appears to be OK for now. 4:36PM 34 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Sarr controls a long switched pas son his chest beautifully, runs down the right and crosses in low... but a defender stabs it away. Senegal keep up the pressure, the ball comes in from the right again and Diouf attacks! But he can't get enough on his header, the centre-backs clear their lines and there was an offside in the buildup anyway. 4:34PM 32 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Nothing too much happening at the moment. The ball is mostly at halfway with no particular team really in control of it. Both looking to attack but losing the ball too early to do anything with it. 4:32PM 30 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Rybus runs in behind the Senegal back line but the goalkeeper comes out to claim before it becomes a problem. 4:30PM 28 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal probe the final third, keep up the high press but Poland go past it really easily and the break should be on! But as they try to come out of their own half it becomes apparent that absolutely nobody is high enough up the pitch to pass to and Senegal easily absorb the counter. 4:27PM 26 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 You can see the different approaches in this graphics: Possession: Poland vs Senegal Poland keeping more of the ball but doing it in safer positions. Senegal a little more direct and attacking the wings. Poland vs Senegal 4:25PM 24 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Credit: AFP Must be an awful pain making sure these guys are always standing in the right order. Lewandowski has tried a hopeful attempt at a volley, while off balance, from 20 yards but puts it harmlessly behind. 4:24PM 23 mins -Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal are holding their defensive shape (4-4-2) well here to deny Poland space to pass into. Poland are doing exactly the same thing, mind. 4:22PM 21 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland get up the pitch and look to have a decent chance to get the ball in the box here. It's chipped in, Milik throws himself at it and heads over. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Kamil Grosicki, 20 min) 4:21PM 19 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 All of a sudden Senegal are in! It's another quick attack, they dribble past players before making a forward pass but the shot inside the box is dragged wide. 4:18PM 16 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland attack quickly and win a corner but Senegal defend their box well and get it away, then win a throw. Senegal wait at half way to steal the ball and Sarr then goes on a dribble into the area, falls under close attention and makes an ambitious attempt at claiming a penalty. Never ever. 4:15PM 14 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Krychowiak fouls one player then lunges into another and has been booked for the first infringement. It was like he was determined to get booked there! Senegal have a free-kick about 30 yards - probably too far to shoot - but it looks like they're considering it. Sane steps up... and that's awful. He tries a knuckleball effort off the side of his foot but basically passes it out for a goal kick. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Salif Sané, 13 min) 4:13PM 11 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland are a 4-4-1-1 at the moment with Krychowiak doing a man-marking job on Mane whenever Senegal get forward on the ball. Mane puts in a great wee pass to the box but Cionek reads it well and shields until the goalkeeper can claim. 4:10PM 9 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 McCoist has pointed out the strategy at set pieces seems to be that Senegal put all their attacking players in the same position so that when they split, it's really difficult to pick up a man and stop them getting a head on any crosses into the box. Credit: FIFA Senegal have started well here. Poland seem measured and patient whereas Senegal are direct and taking the game to them. 4:08PM 7 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 According to Ally McCoist on co-comms, Senegal are heavily outnumbered in the crowd. "There are little pockets of fans but that's it" he says. Senegal win a corner, the centre-backs come forward for it. Niang prepares to take the kick... but it's cleared at the near post. 4:07PM 5 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland now keeping the ball and working forward well. Senegal have to be alert to defend as the ball is moved into the box but win possession and again come out from the back. 4:04PM 2 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal drop deep to defend a Poland attack but break into an attacking shape really quickly... then calmly pass their way out from the back. 4:02PM KICK OFF And we're off! 4:01PM National anthems done Credit: FIFA Nothing overly emotional in the national anthems and now, after ANOTHER betting advert, it's time for lovely fitba. I can't help but feel this lady is being rather presumptive. She could look quite the fool at the final whistle if Senegal turn up here today. Credit: OFFSIDE 3:55PM Here come the players 3:50PM Senegal's manager “I am certain that one day an African country will win the World Cup." Not my words, but those of Aliou Cisse, Senegal's manager and a man who really does think Senegal are in the running to do something special in this tournament. 3:47PM The last game of the first round How are you doing at Fantasy Football? The first round of games is over and if you're like me, you only have a few substitutions left to make. In my pre-tournament selection I really thought Senegal would do well here and I'm excited to see how Mane and co get on. There have been some big shocks already - Japan earlier was another! - but we're noticing some real trends. Most goals seem to come from set pieces and particularly penalties, with our old friends VAR helping out a lot. Correct decisions often mean more fouls which means more goals. 3:32PM Patrice Evra on Senegal "Don't forget about Koulibaly. Sarri made him improve a lot, he's really cool with the ball and is a massive asset for them." 3:30PM Slaven Bilic likes the look of Senegal The ITV panel are discussing how good Senegal might be. "They have something different," is Bilic's take on it. 3:27PM The World Cup in pictures This is lovely wee gallery to have a look through: Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 3:17PM Jamie Carragher on England last night Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama Our expert columnist has had his say on Raheem Sterling vs Marcus Rashford. 3:14PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 3:02PM Poland players inspecting the pitch There they are. Looking for holes and trying to find any bits of the pitch that will make the ball go super fast. 3:00PM Starting lineups Poland Szczesny, Pazdan, Cionek, Milik, Lewandowski, Krychowiak, Grosicki, Rybus, Blaszczykowski, Zielinski, Pirszczek Senegal KH. Ndiaye; Koulibaly, Gana, Sane, Diouf, Mane, Sabaly, A. Ndiaye, Ismaila, Niang, M. Wague 2:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Spartak Stadium We're in Moscow this afternoon/evening at what is usually Spartak Moscow's stadium. It looks a little something like this: Credit: GETTY IMAGES A bit like a multiplex cinema at a seaside resort. 2:43PM Senegal fans! Credit: TASS This is the first Senegal strip or flag I've seen in any of the pre-match build up photographs. Love that Senegal kit. 2:34PM What to expect from today Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Poland and Senegal's first match of the 2018 World Cup! It's a tough one to call and both teams might fancy their chances of getting all three points today - both have some really talented players and are capable of causing damage! Poland's best ever performance at the World Cup was in 1986 when they reached the semi-final: World Cup record: Poland Robert Lewandowski is by far their best player and at 29, is at peak age for a striker. This will surely be his last World Cup as one of the planet's greatest forwards though and Poland must ensure they give him enough ammunition to get every ounce of attacking talent squeezed out of him That's not to say Poland aren't decent elsewhere. Wijciech Szczesny has turned into an excellent goalkeeper, Kamil Glik won Ligue 1 with Monaco not long ago and Arkadiusz Milik has high potential. He currently plays for Napoli and big things are expected. World Cup record: Senegal Senegal's history in the competition isn't quite as impressive and aside from that brief 2002 foray to the quarter-finals, they haven't been anywhere near it. There are some great players in the current side though - Kalidou Koulibaly is a great defender, Idrissa Gueye is like a lesser-known N'Golo Kante and you might be rather familiar with Sadio Mane. There's a lot of creativity, some midfield steel and a lot of pace in this team but Poland will be aware of it. I'd imagine Poland will look to contain the game, attack down the wings and hook crosses in for Lewandowski but will defend deep and deny space for the likes of Mane and Keita Balde to exploit on the counter. Team news will be with us very shortly so make sure you stick around to get all the updates, buildup and analysis you could possibly need. And as if this game wasn't already interesting, at the moment it looks like the unfancied Japan are about to do a number on Colombia! They're winning 2-1 with a man advantage just now - this could flip the outcome of the group.
Senegal survive late Poland onslaught to throw Group H wide open
The Senegalese players and fans were celebrating with all the gusto that you might expect for one of the greatest results in their history but it was the contrast with their manager, Aliou Cisse, which felt most significant. He simply strolled towards the beaten Poland manager Adam Nawalka and offered his hand, before calmly heading towards the tunnel in the most business-like of ways. Yes, he did reappear a few moments later to acknowledge, with a tap towards his heart, those Senegalese fans who were joyously dancing in the aisles but the overall message was clear. In Cisse’s mind, this was no great surprise and he is planning for Senegal’s World Cup to be about much more than simply becoming the first African team to win so far this summer in Russia following defeats already for Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Tunisia. “We managed to control the game tactically and emotionally - that is very important,” said Cisse. “We are not too euphoric; we have highs, lows and we are not going to jump up and down. We need to stay humble.” Such measured leadership should not be mistaken for a lack of emotion. Cisse broke down in front of his squad earlier in the week, such was the importance for him of again leading his country on world football’s biggest stage after he had previously been the captain when they reached the 2002 quarter-final. The only black manager in the tournament, he is also continuing to serve as a wonderful example to other emerging African coaches. “Senegal are proud to represent the whole continent,” he said. Good planning, tactical discipline, the presence of Sadio Mane and two fairly freakish goals ultimately settled this for Senegal. Senegal coach Aliou Cisse played in the country's 2002 World Cup team, where they reached the quarter-finals Credit: AP The first deflected off both Michal Pazdam and Thiago Cionek before going in, while the second was controversially gifted to Mbaye Niang. The Senegal striker had left the pitch for treatment and was then waved on by the fourth official just as Grzegorz Krychowiak hooked a ball back to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Niang sprinted on from the side of the pitch and reached the ball ahead of Szczesny, who had left his goal in an attempt to negate the danger, before tapping the ball into an empty net. Niang later stressed that the need for treatment had been genuine and his intention innocent but it had clearly caught Poland unaware. “Wojciech tried to save the situation,” said Nawalka. “We were very surprised. The players thought a substitute was coming on and that is why there was a big misunderstanding.” On the very same pitch as Lionel Messi so struggled against Iceland to make a decisive contribution, Mane had earlier been influential. He started on the left but, while Messi played just about the entire 90 minutes on Saturday in the area between Iceland’s midfield and defence, the Liverpool winger really magnified his own threat with his movement. There were several eye-catching passes and dribbles but it was his work off the ball that was just as impressive, especially once Poland seized control of possession during the second half. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players After Robert Lewandowski had forced a good save of Khadim N’Diaye with a free-kick, an excellent header by Krychowiak did briefly give Poland some hope. Nawalka, though, would make no attempt to hide the earlier deficiencies and effectively singled out the entire midfield for criticism. “There have been many bad elements,” he said. “The wingers didn’t do a good job and, in the centre, we didn’t do well either. Two goals following our mistakes was something we were very unhappy with. In the first half we did not play. The second half was better but too little.” World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 6:24PM Some stats for you Senegal have won 50% of their World Cup matches (3/6), the best win rate of any African nation in the competition. All three of Senegal’s World Cup wins have been against European nations (France, Sweden and Poland). Poland have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986. Poland have lost seven of their last nine World Cup matches (W2), failing to score in six of those losses. Poland are the first nation to make two errors leading to a goal in a single World Cup match so far in 2018. 6:03PM Goal controversy Slaven Bilic: "For me the referee makes a mistake, Krychowiak makes a mistake, Bednarek makes a mistake". Henrik Larsson: "I think the referee's read it very poorly there. Although the ball is in Poland's control, Bednarek doesn't see what's happening, Szczesny does but he sees it too late." 6:01PM Patrice Evra delighted I'm happy! Thank you to all the Senegal players, nobody expects them to win, no other African team has won. They played for the pride, we have to congratulate the manager, it's a good day. 5:59PM Next up The last game of today is Russia vs Egypt! Will Mo Salah make a big appearance? Will home support drive Russia onto another blockbusting performance? You can follow all the action with Alan Tyers in our liveblog here. 5:56PM Krychowiak's goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's a great photo! You can see Krychowiak beating the centre-backs to the ball. 5:54PM FULL TIME That's it! Senegal deserved the points and put on a superb performance here. They attacked with pace and purpose, created chances, coutner-attacked well and were really well drilled in defence. Poland, by way of comparison, offered hardly anything of note and were well beaten. 5:53PM 90 mins +4 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Do Poland have anything left in them? They're running out of time. But it's Senegal who are close scoring as Mane has a header in space inside the box! He cushions a header back across goal and the chance is gone, Poland get it up the pitch and are looking to get the ball into the box now. It's way more direct and now they're causing Senegal problems. 5:51PM 90 mins +2 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 The crowd are getting excited! Krychowiak is trying to win space to shoot in the box, waits, waits, waits... wins a corner. Up come the big lads... but it's a great claim by the goalkeeper. He plucks the ball out of the air and then humps the ball a mile down the pitch. 5:50PM 90 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Mane turns Cionek inside out on the left wing and earns himself a corner. Great play. It's swung in... but the referee has spotted a foul in the box and it's a free-kick. 5:48PM 88 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Well this is a lot better now. The crowd is alive, Poland are getting everyone forward. "Just get it in the box!" says an exasperated McCoist. "That's how you got your goal!" he offers, as Poland keep up the short passing. 5:46PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! POLAND ARE BACK IN IT! Poland 1 - 2 Senegal (Grzegorz Krychowiak, 86 min) A free-kick from distance is crossed into the box and Krychowiak jumps to power the header past the goalkeeper! But the VAR is checking for offside. It must be a goal... The goal stands! Brilliant header and free-kick from Poland. 5:45PM 85 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 The VAR are checking this decision! It could be a penalty... but VAR say no. Oooooh that would have been a story. 5:44PM 84 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Final sub for Poland. Piszczek off, Bereszynski on. Sarr attacks the right wing, is tackled and stays down... so Poland get the ball up the other end of the pitch. Sarr stays down for ages with a mysterious injury and the referee stops the game... but it turns out, miraculously, that Sarr is fine. The referee gestures from 50 yards for him to get up. He does.... and SARR IS IN! He's gone down in the penalty area and this could be a foul! The Poland players are FURIOUS with him! 5:42PM 82 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Possession: Poland vs Senegal Whenever Senegal get the ball they move it quickly with purpose. When they lose it they drop back and defend in numbers, ready to counter attack. There's nothing on show that suggests Poland are even bothered about the score staying like this. 5:40PM 80 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 "Just do something different to try and change the game!" McCoist says. Poland put a cross in from wide left which Kownacki heads into the ground. The atmosphere is fairly calm... but Poland are 10 minutes away from a big defeat! Where's the urgency? 5:38PM 78 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: FIFA Ally McCoist's getting wound up by the lack of adventure being shown by Poland. The fans are getting on their backs too. That makes a change from the general sound of apathy. You can actually hear it. 5:36PM 76 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Poland chip hopeful balls forward and Senegal have absolutely no problem dealing with it. Where is the imagination in this Poland team? 5:34PM 74 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Kownacki on, Milik off. He sprints over to the subs bench. 5:32PM 72 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 MILIK! That's very close. He makes a run to the near post to attack a cross from wide right but pokes it wide of the goal. Better from Poland. The game's a bit scrappy now. Gueye is booked for a late one on Krychowiak, both teams are swapping possession around the halfway line. Still Senegal look the more confident and hungry of the two. 5:29PM 70 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES And this is Krychowiak's pass which led to the goal. Poland are horrible here today. No invention, no speed, no tempo to the passes - Senegal have got their number. 5:27PM 68 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the moment Niang poked the ball beyond Szczesny for his goal. 5:26PM 66 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Great control by Sabaly. He wants the ball more than Piszczcek and steals it from him in the air, sprinting down the left wing until he hits a dead end. Senegal sitting back in a deeper shape now waiting to counter-attack Poland, who have to get more men forward now if they want to score. 5:23PM 63 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Diouf is subbed for Ndoye. Poland are raging about that goal because Niang had just come back on the pitch are leaving because he was 'injured'. It's a defensive error though - no point in blaming anyone but themselves for that error. 5:20PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! IT'S 2-0! OUT OF NOWHERE! Poland 0 - 2 Senegal (M'Baye Niang, 60 min) Krychowiak passes back to the goalkeeper but it's awful! Niang chases, Szczesny comes flying off his line way too early and the centre-back doesn't intercept.... and Niang is in! He pokes it past the goalie and then taps into an empty net! That's his first ever international goal! 5:20PM 60 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Niang goes down after contesting a header but Poland play on. Diouf is furious about it and goes charging into Krychowiak, fouling him to stop the game. Just for a second it looks like things might bubble over but heads cool as the referee calms them down. Incidentally, Niang is absolutely fine. 5:18PM 58 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland attack down the left and cross to the back post and Piszcek arrives! His effort is poor. "He didn't believe it," says McCoist as we watch the replay of that one. Poor from the Poland right-back. Miss: Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Lukasz Piszczek, 56 min) 5:15PM 56 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland vs Senegal When the average positions stats look like that it helps explain why a game might not be captivating. It's been exciting in flashes but a lot of the game has been played in midfield. 5:14PM 54 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 A quick attack down the left wing for Senegal gets Sabaly in at goal. He pulls the ball back across the box but Mane can't turn it at goal and his shot is blocked. Credit: AP Senegal have the ball in the final third, Mane switches play, the cross is whipped in from wide right and a striker swings a foot at it! He's missed the ball! If that had connected it could well have flown into the back of the net. 5:11PM 52 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Lewandowski takes the free-kick... and it's a strong save by N'Diaye at the far post. Poland have upped the tempo now and look much better than they were in the first half. 5:09PM 50 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland might have changed to 3-5-1-1 for this half. The three centre-backs should be able to nullify the Senegal front two, and that helps wing-backs get higher up the pitch to lend service to Lewandowski. Great play by Lewandowski! He steals the ball at half way, breaks away and Sane brings him down before he gets to the box. It's a clear booking and now Poland have a great free-kick opportunity. 5:07PM 48 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That's a really bad start for the half for Bednarek. His head has collided with the body of a Senegal forward and he might have jarred his neck... or at least taking a whack to the jaw. He's up and back ready to play though. 5:05PM KICK OFF 2 And we're back! Substitution for Poland though. Blaszczykowski hasn't made it out for the second half and Bednarek has replaced him. 5:03PM Gueye's goal / Cionek's own goal Credit: REUTERS Give it to the attacking player I say. Without the shot there wouldn't have been a goal! 4:59PM Bilic is great chat today "4-4-2 is back in business - Atletico, Monaco - but then at least you have one of the wingers if not both midfielders who go inside and the full-backs doing that (flying high up the wing) but none of the teams are doing that. It's two vs two." "It's easy to read," says Henrik Larsson. 4:57PM Slaven Bilic on the match "It's easy to explain why this is a boring game. Both teams play the same system so they cancel each other out. So in this kind of game a goal comes from a mistake or transition, it's like a mirror. The only players changing positions are Niang and Mane, it's very predictable." 4:55PM No shots on target by either side Poland vs Senegal shots on goal 4:49PM HALF TIME A deserved lead for Senegal and there is work to do for Poland here. They've been outclassed and need to bring a lot more to the table if they're going to get anything out of this. Average touch positions (45 + 1 min) 4:46PM 44 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland look a little pedestrian here. Credit: AFP Senegal in control of possession, taking their time, winning aerial duels, following up second balls with urgency and keeping cool. 4:44PM 42 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Sarr speeds past Rybus like a shooting star and wins a corner. It's curled out, to the six yard box and SANE IS THERE! Oh that's a bad miss! The cross has hit the penalty area and the defender has headed down into the ground and bounced the ball over the bar. That should be 2-0. 4:42PM 40 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That goal's going to count as an own goal apparently because Gueye's shot was heading wide. That sucks. Senegal are really impressive here, I wonder if Poland underestimated them a little bit. They're playing with a lot of energy and freedom but look really well drilled defensively and Poland can't get near them. 4:39PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! GUEYE HAS SCORED! Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Idrissa Gueye, 37 min) Great attack by Senegal but Poland's defending is dreadful here! Mane looks like he's going to hit it, passes it to his right and Gueye has space. He lines up the shot, fires it low and it takes a BIG deflection off Cionek and wrong-foots the goalkeeper. Senegal have the lead! 4:38PM 36 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Blaszczkowski is struggling a little bit after riding a tackle on the edge of the Senegal box but appears to be OK for now. 4:36PM 34 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Sarr controls a long switched pas son his chest beautifully, runs down the right and crosses in low... but a defender stabs it away. Senegal keep up the pressure, the ball comes in from the right again and Diouf attacks! But he can't get enough on his header, the centre-backs clear their lines and there was an offside in the buildup anyway. 4:34PM 32 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Nothing too much happening at the moment. The ball is mostly at halfway with no particular team really in control of it. Both looking to attack but losing the ball too early to do anything with it. 4:32PM 30 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Rybus runs in behind the Senegal back line but the goalkeeper comes out to claim before it becomes a problem. 4:30PM 28 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal probe the final third, keep up the high press but Poland go past it really easily and the break should be on! But as they try to come out of their own half it becomes apparent that absolutely nobody is high enough up the pitch to pass to and Senegal easily absorb the counter. 4:27PM 26 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 You can see the different approaches in this graphics: Possession: Poland vs Senegal Poland keeping more of the ball but doing it in safer positions. Senegal a little more direct and attacking the wings. Poland vs Senegal 4:25PM 24 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Credit: AFP Must be an awful pain making sure these guys are always standing in the right order. Lewandowski has tried a hopeful attempt at a volley, while off balance, from 20 yards but puts it harmlessly behind. 4:24PM 23 mins -Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal are holding their defensive shape (4-4-2) well here to deny Poland space to pass into. Poland are doing exactly the same thing, mind. 4:22PM 21 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland get up the pitch and look to have a decent chance to get the ball in the box here. It's chipped in, Milik throws himself at it and heads over. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Kamil Grosicki, 20 min) 4:21PM 19 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 All of a sudden Senegal are in! It's another quick attack, they dribble past players before making a forward pass but the shot inside the box is dragged wide. 4:18PM 16 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland attack quickly and win a corner but Senegal defend their box well and get it away, then win a throw. Senegal wait at half way to steal the ball and Sarr then goes on a dribble into the area, falls under close attention and makes an ambitious attempt at claiming a penalty. Never ever. 4:15PM 14 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Krychowiak fouls one player then lunges into another and has been booked for the first infringement. It was like he was determined to get booked there! Senegal have a free-kick about 30 yards - probably too far to shoot - but it looks like they're considering it. Sane steps up... and that's awful. He tries a knuckleball effort off the side of his foot but basically passes it out for a goal kick. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Salif Sané, 13 min) 4:13PM 11 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland are a 4-4-1-1 at the moment with Krychowiak doing a man-marking job on Mane whenever Senegal get forward on the ball. Mane puts in a great wee pass to the box but Cionek reads it well and shields until the goalkeeper can claim. 4:10PM 9 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 McCoist has pointed out the strategy at set pieces seems to be that Senegal put all their attacking players in the same position so that when they split, it's really difficult to pick up a man and stop them getting a head on any crosses into the box. Credit: FIFA Senegal have started well here. Poland seem measured and patient whereas Senegal are direct and taking the game to them. 4:08PM 7 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 According to Ally McCoist on co-comms, Senegal are heavily outnumbered in the crowd. "There are little pockets of fans but that's it" he says. Senegal win a corner, the centre-backs come forward for it. Niang prepares to take the kick... but it's cleared at the near post. 4:07PM 5 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland now keeping the ball and working forward well. Senegal have to be alert to defend as the ball is moved into the box but win possession and again come out from the back. 4:04PM 2 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal drop deep to defend a Poland attack but break into an attacking shape really quickly... then calmly pass their way out from the back. 4:02PM KICK OFF And we're off! 4:01PM National anthems done Credit: FIFA Nothing overly emotional in the national anthems and now, after ANOTHER betting advert, it's time for lovely fitba. I can't help but feel this lady is being rather presumptive. She could look quite the fool at the final whistle if Senegal turn up here today. Credit: OFFSIDE 3:55PM Here come the players 3:50PM Senegal's manager “I am certain that one day an African country will win the World Cup." Not my words, but those of Aliou Cisse, Senegal's manager and a man who really does think Senegal are in the running to do something special in this tournament. 3:47PM The last game of the first round How are you doing at Fantasy Football? The first round of games is over and if you're like me, you only have a few substitutions left to make. In my pre-tournament selection I really thought Senegal would do well here and I'm excited to see how Mane and co get on. There have been some big shocks already - Japan earlier was another! - but we're noticing some real trends. Most goals seem to come from set pieces and particularly penalties, with our old friends VAR helping out a lot. Correct decisions often mean more fouls which means more goals. 3:32PM Patrice Evra on Senegal "Don't forget about Koulibaly. Sarri made him improve a lot, he's really cool with the ball and is a massive asset for them." 3:30PM Slaven Bilic likes the look of Senegal The ITV panel are discussing how good Senegal might be. "They have something different," is Bilic's take on it. 3:27PM The World Cup in pictures This is lovely wee gallery to have a look through: Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 3:17PM Jamie Carragher on England last night Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama Our expert columnist has had his say on Raheem Sterling vs Marcus Rashford. 3:14PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 3:02PM Poland players inspecting the pitch There they are. Looking for holes and trying to find any bits of the pitch that will make the ball go super fast. 3:00PM Starting lineups Poland Szczesny, Pazdan, Cionek, Milik, Lewandowski, Krychowiak, Grosicki, Rybus, Blaszczykowski, Zielinski, Pirszczek Senegal KH. Ndiaye; Koulibaly, Gana, Sane, Diouf, Mane, Sabaly, A. Ndiaye, Ismaila, Niang, M. Wague 2:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Spartak Stadium We're in Moscow this afternoon/evening at what is usually Spartak Moscow's stadium. It looks a little something like this: Credit: GETTY IMAGES A bit like a multiplex cinema at a seaside resort. 2:43PM Senegal fans! Credit: TASS This is the first Senegal strip or flag I've seen in any of the pre-match build up photographs. Love that Senegal kit. 2:34PM What to expect from today Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Poland and Senegal's first match of the 2018 World Cup! It's a tough one to call and both teams might fancy their chances of getting all three points today - both have some really talented players and are capable of causing damage! Poland's best ever performance at the World Cup was in 1986 when they reached the semi-final: World Cup record: Poland Robert Lewandowski is by far their best player and at 29, is at peak age for a striker. This will surely be his last World Cup as one of the planet's greatest forwards though and Poland must ensure they give him enough ammunition to get every ounce of attacking talent squeezed out of him That's not to say Poland aren't decent elsewhere. Wijciech Szczesny has turned into an excellent goalkeeper, Kamil Glik won Ligue 1 with Monaco not long ago and Arkadiusz Milik has high potential. He currently plays for Napoli and big things are expected. World Cup record: Senegal Senegal's history in the competition isn't quite as impressive and aside from that brief 2002 foray to the quarter-finals, they haven't been anywhere near it. There are some great players in the current side though - Kalidou Koulibaly is a great defender, Idrissa Gueye is like a lesser-known N'Golo Kante and you might be rather familiar with Sadio Mane. There's a lot of creativity, some midfield steel and a lot of pace in this team but Poland will be aware of it. I'd imagine Poland will look to contain the game, attack down the wings and hook crosses in for Lewandowski but will defend deep and deny space for the likes of Mane and Keita Balde to exploit on the counter. Team news will be with us very shortly so make sure you stick around to get all the updates, buildup and analysis you could possibly need. And as if this game wasn't already interesting, at the moment it looks like the unfancied Japan are about to do a number on Colombia! They're winning 2-1 with a man advantage just now - this could flip the outcome of the group.
The Senegalese players and fans were celebrating with all the gusto that you might expect for one of the greatest results in their history but it was the contrast with their manager, Aliou Cisse, which felt most significant. He simply strolled towards the beaten Poland manager Adam Nawalka and offered his hand, before calmly heading towards the tunnel in the most business-like of ways. Yes, he did reappear a few moments later to acknowledge, with a tap towards his heart, those Senegalese fans who were joyously dancing in the aisles but the overall message was clear. In Cisse’s mind, this was no great surprise and he is planning for Senegal’s World Cup to be about much more than simply becoming the first African team to win so far this summer in Russia following defeats already for Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Tunisia. “We managed to control the game tactically and emotionally - that is very important,” said Cisse. “We are not too euphoric; we have highs, lows and we are not going to jump up and down. We need to stay humble.” Such measured leadership should not be mistaken for a lack of emotion. Cisse broke down in front of his squad earlier in the week, such was the importance for him of again leading his country on world football’s biggest stage after he had previously been the captain when they reached the 2002 quarter-final. The only black manager in the tournament, he is also continuing to serve as a wonderful example to other emerging African coaches. “Senegal are proud to represent the whole continent,” he said. Good planning, tactical discipline, the presence of Sadio Mane and two fairly freakish goals ultimately settled this for Senegal. Senegal coach Aliou Cisse played in the country's 2002 World Cup team, where they reached the quarter-finals Credit: AP The first deflected off both Michal Pazdam and Thiago Cionek before going in, while the second was controversially gifted to Mbaye Niang. The Senegal striker had left the pitch for treatment and was then waved on by the fourth official just as Grzegorz Krychowiak hooked a ball back to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Niang sprinted on from the side of the pitch and reached the ball ahead of Szczesny, who had left his goal in an attempt to negate the danger, before tapping the ball into an empty net. Niang later stressed that the need for treatment had been genuine and his intention innocent but it had clearly caught Poland unaware. “Wojciech tried to save the situation,” said Nawalka. “We were very surprised. The players thought a substitute was coming on and that is why there was a big misunderstanding.” On the very same pitch as Lionel Messi so struggled against Iceland to make a decisive contribution, Mane had earlier been influential. He started on the left but, while Messi played just about the entire 90 minutes on Saturday in the area between Iceland’s midfield and defence, the Liverpool winger really magnified his own threat with his movement. There were several eye-catching passes and dribbles but it was his work off the ball that was just as impressive, especially once Poland seized control of possession during the second half. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players After Robert Lewandowski had forced a good save of Khadim N’Diaye with a free-kick, an excellent header by Krychowiak did briefly give Poland some hope. Nawalka, though, would make no attempt to hide the earlier deficiencies and effectively singled out the entire midfield for criticism. “There have been many bad elements,” he said. “The wingers didn’t do a good job and, in the centre, we didn’t do well either. Two goals following our mistakes was something we were very unhappy with. In the first half we did not play. The second half was better but too little.” World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 6:24PM Some stats for you Senegal have won 50% of their World Cup matches (3/6), the best win rate of any African nation in the competition. All three of Senegal’s World Cup wins have been against European nations (France, Sweden and Poland). Poland have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986. Poland have lost seven of their last nine World Cup matches (W2), failing to score in six of those losses. Poland are the first nation to make two errors leading to a goal in a single World Cup match so far in 2018. 6:03PM Goal controversy Slaven Bilic: "For me the referee makes a mistake, Krychowiak makes a mistake, Bednarek makes a mistake". Henrik Larsson: "I think the referee's read it very poorly there. Although the ball is in Poland's control, Bednarek doesn't see what's happening, Szczesny does but he sees it too late." 6:01PM Patrice Evra delighted I'm happy! Thank you to all the Senegal players, nobody expects them to win, no other African team has won. They played for the pride, we have to congratulate the manager, it's a good day. 5:59PM Next up The last game of today is Russia vs Egypt! Will Mo Salah make a big appearance? Will home support drive Russia onto another blockbusting performance? You can follow all the action with Alan Tyers in our liveblog here. 5:56PM Krychowiak's goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's a great photo! You can see Krychowiak beating the centre-backs to the ball. 5:54PM FULL TIME That's it! Senegal deserved the points and put on a superb performance here. They attacked with pace and purpose, created chances, coutner-attacked well and were really well drilled in defence. Poland, by way of comparison, offered hardly anything of note and were well beaten. 5:53PM 90 mins +4 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Do Poland have anything left in them? They're running out of time. But it's Senegal who are close scoring as Mane has a header in space inside the box! He cushions a header back across goal and the chance is gone, Poland get it up the pitch and are looking to get the ball into the box now. It's way more direct and now they're causing Senegal problems. 5:51PM 90 mins +2 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 The crowd are getting excited! Krychowiak is trying to win space to shoot in the box, waits, waits, waits... wins a corner. Up come the big lads... but it's a great claim by the goalkeeper. He plucks the ball out of the air and then humps the ball a mile down the pitch. 5:50PM 90 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Mane turns Cionek inside out on the left wing and earns himself a corner. Great play. It's swung in... but the referee has spotted a foul in the box and it's a free-kick. 5:48PM 88 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Well this is a lot better now. The crowd is alive, Poland are getting everyone forward. "Just get it in the box!" says an exasperated McCoist. "That's how you got your goal!" he offers, as Poland keep up the short passing. 5:46PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! POLAND ARE BACK IN IT! Poland 1 - 2 Senegal (Grzegorz Krychowiak, 86 min) A free-kick from distance is crossed into the box and Krychowiak jumps to power the header past the goalkeeper! But the VAR is checking for offside. It must be a goal... The goal stands! Brilliant header and free-kick from Poland. 5:45PM 85 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 The VAR are checking this decision! It could be a penalty... but VAR say no. Oooooh that would have been a story. 5:44PM 84 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Final sub for Poland. Piszczek off, Bereszynski on. Sarr attacks the right wing, is tackled and stays down... so Poland get the ball up the other end of the pitch. Sarr stays down for ages with a mysterious injury and the referee stops the game... but it turns out, miraculously, that Sarr is fine. The referee gestures from 50 yards for him to get up. He does.... and SARR IS IN! He's gone down in the penalty area and this could be a foul! The Poland players are FURIOUS with him! 5:42PM 82 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Possession: Poland vs Senegal Whenever Senegal get the ball they move it quickly with purpose. When they lose it they drop back and defend in numbers, ready to counter attack. There's nothing on show that suggests Poland are even bothered about the score staying like this. 5:40PM 80 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 "Just do something different to try and change the game!" McCoist says. Poland put a cross in from wide left which Kownacki heads into the ground. The atmosphere is fairly calm... but Poland are 10 minutes away from a big defeat! Where's the urgency? 5:38PM 78 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: FIFA Ally McCoist's getting wound up by the lack of adventure being shown by Poland. The fans are getting on their backs too. That makes a change from the general sound of apathy. You can actually hear it. 5:36PM 76 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Poland chip hopeful balls forward and Senegal have absolutely no problem dealing with it. Where is the imagination in this Poland team? 5:34PM 74 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Kownacki on, Milik off. He sprints over to the subs bench. 5:32PM 72 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 MILIK! That's very close. He makes a run to the near post to attack a cross from wide right but pokes it wide of the goal. Better from Poland. The game's a bit scrappy now. Gueye is booked for a late one on Krychowiak, both teams are swapping possession around the halfway line. Still Senegal look the more confident and hungry of the two. 5:29PM 70 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES And this is Krychowiak's pass which led to the goal. Poland are horrible here today. No invention, no speed, no tempo to the passes - Senegal have got their number. 5:27PM 68 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the moment Niang poked the ball beyond Szczesny for his goal. 5:26PM 66 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Great control by Sabaly. He wants the ball more than Piszczcek and steals it from him in the air, sprinting down the left wing until he hits a dead end. Senegal sitting back in a deeper shape now waiting to counter-attack Poland, who have to get more men forward now if they want to score. 5:23PM 63 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Diouf is subbed for Ndoye. Poland are raging about that goal because Niang had just come back on the pitch are leaving because he was 'injured'. It's a defensive error though - no point in blaming anyone but themselves for that error. 5:20PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! IT'S 2-0! OUT OF NOWHERE! Poland 0 - 2 Senegal (M'Baye Niang, 60 min) Krychowiak passes back to the goalkeeper but it's awful! Niang chases, Szczesny comes flying off his line way too early and the centre-back doesn't intercept.... and Niang is in! He pokes it past the goalie and then taps into an empty net! That's his first ever international goal! 5:20PM 60 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Niang goes down after contesting a header but Poland play on. Diouf is furious about it and goes charging into Krychowiak, fouling him to stop the game. Just for a second it looks like things might bubble over but heads cool as the referee calms them down. Incidentally, Niang is absolutely fine. 5:18PM 58 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland attack down the left and cross to the back post and Piszcek arrives! His effort is poor. "He didn't believe it," says McCoist as we watch the replay of that one. Poor from the Poland right-back. Miss: Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Lukasz Piszczek, 56 min) 5:15PM 56 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland vs Senegal When the average positions stats look like that it helps explain why a game might not be captivating. It's been exciting in flashes but a lot of the game has been played in midfield. 5:14PM 54 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 A quick attack down the left wing for Senegal gets Sabaly in at goal. He pulls the ball back across the box but Mane can't turn it at goal and his shot is blocked. Credit: AP Senegal have the ball in the final third, Mane switches play, the cross is whipped in from wide right and a striker swings a foot at it! He's missed the ball! If that had connected it could well have flown into the back of the net. 5:11PM 52 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Lewandowski takes the free-kick... and it's a strong save by N'Diaye at the far post. Poland have upped the tempo now and look much better than they were in the first half. 5:09PM 50 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland might have changed to 3-5-1-1 for this half. The three centre-backs should be able to nullify the Senegal front two, and that helps wing-backs get higher up the pitch to lend service to Lewandowski. Great play by Lewandowski! He steals the ball at half way, breaks away and Sane brings him down before he gets to the box. It's a clear booking and now Poland have a great free-kick opportunity. 5:07PM 48 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That's a really bad start for the half for Bednarek. His head has collided with the body of a Senegal forward and he might have jarred his neck... or at least taking a whack to the jaw. He's up and back ready to play though. 5:05PM KICK OFF 2 And we're back! Substitution for Poland though. Blaszczykowski hasn't made it out for the second half and Bednarek has replaced him. 5:03PM Gueye's goal / Cionek's own goal Credit: REUTERS Give it to the attacking player I say. Without the shot there wouldn't have been a goal! 4:59PM Bilic is great chat today "4-4-2 is back in business - Atletico, Monaco - but then at least you have one of the wingers if not both midfielders who go inside and the full-backs doing that (flying high up the wing) but none of the teams are doing that. It's two vs two." "It's easy to read," says Henrik Larsson. 4:57PM Slaven Bilic on the match "It's easy to explain why this is a boring game. Both teams play the same system so they cancel each other out. So in this kind of game a goal comes from a mistake or transition, it's like a mirror. The only players changing positions are Niang and Mane, it's very predictable." 4:55PM No shots on target by either side Poland vs Senegal shots on goal 4:49PM HALF TIME A deserved lead for Senegal and there is work to do for Poland here. They've been outclassed and need to bring a lot more to the table if they're going to get anything out of this. Average touch positions (45 + 1 min) 4:46PM 44 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland look a little pedestrian here. Credit: AFP Senegal in control of possession, taking their time, winning aerial duels, following up second balls with urgency and keeping cool. 4:44PM 42 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Sarr speeds past Rybus like a shooting star and wins a corner. It's curled out, to the six yard box and SANE IS THERE! Oh that's a bad miss! The cross has hit the penalty area and the defender has headed down into the ground and bounced the ball over the bar. That should be 2-0. 4:42PM 40 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That goal's going to count as an own goal apparently because Gueye's shot was heading wide. That sucks. Senegal are really impressive here, I wonder if Poland underestimated them a little bit. They're playing with a lot of energy and freedom but look really well drilled defensively and Poland can't get near them. 4:39PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! GUEYE HAS SCORED! Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Idrissa Gueye, 37 min) Great attack by Senegal but Poland's defending is dreadful here! Mane looks like he's going to hit it, passes it to his right and Gueye has space. He lines up the shot, fires it low and it takes a BIG deflection off Cionek and wrong-foots the goalkeeper. Senegal have the lead! 4:38PM 36 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Blaszczkowski is struggling a little bit after riding a tackle on the edge of the Senegal box but appears to be OK for now. 4:36PM 34 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Sarr controls a long switched pas son his chest beautifully, runs down the right and crosses in low... but a defender stabs it away. Senegal keep up the pressure, the ball comes in from the right again and Diouf attacks! But he can't get enough on his header, the centre-backs clear their lines and there was an offside in the buildup anyway. 4:34PM 32 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Nothing too much happening at the moment. The ball is mostly at halfway with no particular team really in control of it. Both looking to attack but losing the ball too early to do anything with it. 4:32PM 30 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Rybus runs in behind the Senegal back line but the goalkeeper comes out to claim before it becomes a problem. 4:30PM 28 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal probe the final third, keep up the high press but Poland go past it really easily and the break should be on! But as they try to come out of their own half it becomes apparent that absolutely nobody is high enough up the pitch to pass to and Senegal easily absorb the counter. 4:27PM 26 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 You can see the different approaches in this graphics: Possession: Poland vs Senegal Poland keeping more of the ball but doing it in safer positions. Senegal a little more direct and attacking the wings. Poland vs Senegal 4:25PM 24 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Credit: AFP Must be an awful pain making sure these guys are always standing in the right order. Lewandowski has tried a hopeful attempt at a volley, while off balance, from 20 yards but puts it harmlessly behind. 4:24PM 23 mins -Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal are holding their defensive shape (4-4-2) well here to deny Poland space to pass into. Poland are doing exactly the same thing, mind. 4:22PM 21 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland get up the pitch and look to have a decent chance to get the ball in the box here. It's chipped in, Milik throws himself at it and heads over. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Kamil Grosicki, 20 min) 4:21PM 19 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 All of a sudden Senegal are in! It's another quick attack, they dribble past players before making a forward pass but the shot inside the box is dragged wide. 4:18PM 16 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland attack quickly and win a corner but Senegal defend their box well and get it away, then win a throw. Senegal wait at half way to steal the ball and Sarr then goes on a dribble into the area, falls under close attention and makes an ambitious attempt at claiming a penalty. Never ever. 4:15PM 14 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Krychowiak fouls one player then lunges into another and has been booked for the first infringement. It was like he was determined to get booked there! Senegal have a free-kick about 30 yards - probably too far to shoot - but it looks like they're considering it. Sane steps up... and that's awful. He tries a knuckleball effort off the side of his foot but basically passes it out for a goal kick. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Salif Sané, 13 min) 4:13PM 11 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland are a 4-4-1-1 at the moment with Krychowiak doing a man-marking job on Mane whenever Senegal get forward on the ball. Mane puts in a great wee pass to the box but Cionek reads it well and shields until the goalkeeper can claim. 4:10PM 9 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 McCoist has pointed out the strategy at set pieces seems to be that Senegal put all their attacking players in the same position so that when they split, it's really difficult to pick up a man and stop them getting a head on any crosses into the box. Credit: FIFA Senegal have started well here. Poland seem measured and patient whereas Senegal are direct and taking the game to them. 4:08PM 7 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 According to Ally McCoist on co-comms, Senegal are heavily outnumbered in the crowd. "There are little pockets of fans but that's it" he says. Senegal win a corner, the centre-backs come forward for it. Niang prepares to take the kick... but it's cleared at the near post. 4:07PM 5 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland now keeping the ball and working forward well. Senegal have to be alert to defend as the ball is moved into the box but win possession and again come out from the back. 4:04PM 2 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal drop deep to defend a Poland attack but break into an attacking shape really quickly... then calmly pass their way out from the back. 4:02PM KICK OFF And we're off! 4:01PM National anthems done Credit: FIFA Nothing overly emotional in the national anthems and now, after ANOTHER betting advert, it's time for lovely fitba. I can't help but feel this lady is being rather presumptive. She could look quite the fool at the final whistle if Senegal turn up here today. Credit: OFFSIDE 3:55PM Here come the players 3:50PM Senegal's manager “I am certain that one day an African country will win the World Cup." Not my words, but those of Aliou Cisse, Senegal's manager and a man who really does think Senegal are in the running to do something special in this tournament. 3:47PM The last game of the first round How are you doing at Fantasy Football? The first round of games is over and if you're like me, you only have a few substitutions left to make. In my pre-tournament selection I really thought Senegal would do well here and I'm excited to see how Mane and co get on. There have been some big shocks already - Japan earlier was another! - but we're noticing some real trends. Most goals seem to come from set pieces and particularly penalties, with our old friends VAR helping out a lot. Correct decisions often mean more fouls which means more goals. 3:32PM Patrice Evra on Senegal "Don't forget about Koulibaly. Sarri made him improve a lot, he's really cool with the ball and is a massive asset for them." 3:30PM Slaven Bilic likes the look of Senegal The ITV panel are discussing how good Senegal might be. "They have something different," is Bilic's take on it. 3:27PM The World Cup in pictures This is lovely wee gallery to have a look through: Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 3:17PM Jamie Carragher on England last night Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama Our expert columnist has had his say on Raheem Sterling vs Marcus Rashford. 3:14PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 3:02PM Poland players inspecting the pitch There they are. Looking for holes and trying to find any bits of the pitch that will make the ball go super fast. 3:00PM Starting lineups Poland Szczesny, Pazdan, Cionek, Milik, Lewandowski, Krychowiak, Grosicki, Rybus, Blaszczykowski, Zielinski, Pirszczek Senegal KH. Ndiaye; Koulibaly, Gana, Sane, Diouf, Mane, Sabaly, A. Ndiaye, Ismaila, Niang, M. Wague 2:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Spartak Stadium We're in Moscow this afternoon/evening at what is usually Spartak Moscow's stadium. It looks a little something like this: Credit: GETTY IMAGES A bit like a multiplex cinema at a seaside resort. 2:43PM Senegal fans! Credit: TASS This is the first Senegal strip or flag I've seen in any of the pre-match build up photographs. Love that Senegal kit. 2:34PM What to expect from today Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Poland and Senegal's first match of the 2018 World Cup! It's a tough one to call and both teams might fancy their chances of getting all three points today - both have some really talented players and are capable of causing damage! Poland's best ever performance at the World Cup was in 1986 when they reached the semi-final: World Cup record: Poland Robert Lewandowski is by far their best player and at 29, is at peak age for a striker. This will surely be his last World Cup as one of the planet's greatest forwards though and Poland must ensure they give him enough ammunition to get every ounce of attacking talent squeezed out of him That's not to say Poland aren't decent elsewhere. Wijciech Szczesny has turned into an excellent goalkeeper, Kamil Glik won Ligue 1 with Monaco not long ago and Arkadiusz Milik has high potential. He currently plays for Napoli and big things are expected. World Cup record: Senegal Senegal's history in the competition isn't quite as impressive and aside from that brief 2002 foray to the quarter-finals, they haven't been anywhere near it. There are some great players in the current side though - Kalidou Koulibaly is a great defender, Idrissa Gueye is like a lesser-known N'Golo Kante and you might be rather familiar with Sadio Mane. There's a lot of creativity, some midfield steel and a lot of pace in this team but Poland will be aware of it. I'd imagine Poland will look to contain the game, attack down the wings and hook crosses in for Lewandowski but will defend deep and deny space for the likes of Mane and Keita Balde to exploit on the counter. Team news will be with us very shortly so make sure you stick around to get all the updates, buildup and analysis you could possibly need. And as if this game wasn't already interesting, at the moment it looks like the unfancied Japan are about to do a number on Colombia! They're winning 2-1 with a man advantage just now - this could flip the outcome of the group.
Senegal survive late Poland onslaught to throw Group H wide open
The Senegalese players and fans were celebrating with all the gusto that you might expect for one of the greatest results in their history but it was the contrast with their manager, Aliou Cisse, which felt most significant. He simply strolled towards the beaten Poland manager Adam Nawalka and offered his hand, before calmly heading towards the tunnel in the most business-like of ways. Yes, he did reappear a few moments later to acknowledge, with a tap towards his heart, those Senegalese fans who were joyously dancing in the aisles but the overall message was clear. In Cisse’s mind, this was no great surprise and he is planning for Senegal’s World Cup to be about much more than simply becoming the first African team to win so far this summer in Russia following defeats already for Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Tunisia. “We managed to control the game tactically and emotionally - that is very important,” said Cisse. “We are not too euphoric; we have highs, lows and we are not going to jump up and down. We need to stay humble.” Such measured leadership should not be mistaken for a lack of emotion. Cisse broke down in front of his squad earlier in the week, such was the importance for him of again leading his country on world football’s biggest stage after he had previously been the captain when they reached the 2002 quarter-final. The only black manager in the tournament, he is also continuing to serve as a wonderful example to other emerging African coaches. “Senegal are proud to represent the whole continent,” he said. Good planning, tactical discipline, the presence of Sadio Mane and two fairly freakish goals ultimately settled this for Senegal. Senegal coach Aliou Cisse played in the country's 2002 World Cup team, where they reached the quarter-finals Credit: AP The first deflected off both Michal Pazdam and Thiago Cionek before going in, while the second was controversially gifted to Mbaye Niang. The Senegal striker had left the pitch for treatment and was then waved on by the fourth official just as Grzegorz Krychowiak hooked a ball back to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Niang sprinted on from the side of the pitch and reached the ball ahead of Szczesny, who had left his goal in an attempt to negate the danger, before tapping the ball into an empty net. Niang later stressed that the need for treatment had been genuine and his intention innocent but it had clearly caught Poland unaware. “Wojciech tried to save the situation,” said Nawalka. “We were very surprised. The players thought a substitute was coming on and that is why there was a big misunderstanding.” On the very same pitch as Lionel Messi so struggled against Iceland to make a decisive contribution, Mane had earlier been influential. He started on the left but, while Messi played just about the entire 90 minutes on Saturday in the area between Iceland’s midfield and defence, the Liverpool winger really magnified his own threat with his movement. There were several eye-catching passes and dribbles but it was his work off the ball that was just as impressive, especially once Poland seized control of possession during the second half. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players After Robert Lewandowski had forced a good save of Khadim N’Diaye with a free-kick, an excellent header by Krychowiak did briefly give Poland some hope. Nawalka, though, would make no attempt to hide the earlier deficiencies and effectively singled out the entire midfield for criticism. “There have been many bad elements,” he said. “The wingers didn’t do a good job and, in the centre, we didn’t do well either. Two goals following our mistakes was something we were very unhappy with. In the first half we did not play. The second half was better but too little.” World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 6:24PM Some stats for you Senegal have won 50% of their World Cup matches (3/6), the best win rate of any African nation in the competition. All three of Senegal’s World Cup wins have been against European nations (France, Sweden and Poland). Poland have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986. Poland have lost seven of their last nine World Cup matches (W2), failing to score in six of those losses. Poland are the first nation to make two errors leading to a goal in a single World Cup match so far in 2018. 6:03PM Goal controversy Slaven Bilic: "For me the referee makes a mistake, Krychowiak makes a mistake, Bednarek makes a mistake". Henrik Larsson: "I think the referee's read it very poorly there. Although the ball is in Poland's control, Bednarek doesn't see what's happening, Szczesny does but he sees it too late." 6:01PM Patrice Evra delighted I'm happy! Thank you to all the Senegal players, nobody expects them to win, no other African team has won. They played for the pride, we have to congratulate the manager, it's a good day. 5:59PM Next up The last game of today is Russia vs Egypt! Will Mo Salah make a big appearance? Will home support drive Russia onto another blockbusting performance? You can follow all the action with Alan Tyers in our liveblog here. 5:56PM Krychowiak's goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's a great photo! You can see Krychowiak beating the centre-backs to the ball. 5:54PM FULL TIME That's it! Senegal deserved the points and put on a superb performance here. They attacked with pace and purpose, created chances, coutner-attacked well and were really well drilled in defence. Poland, by way of comparison, offered hardly anything of note and were well beaten. 5:53PM 90 mins +4 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Do Poland have anything left in them? They're running out of time. But it's Senegal who are close scoring as Mane has a header in space inside the box! He cushions a header back across goal and the chance is gone, Poland get it up the pitch and are looking to get the ball into the box now. It's way more direct and now they're causing Senegal problems. 5:51PM 90 mins +2 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 The crowd are getting excited! Krychowiak is trying to win space to shoot in the box, waits, waits, waits... wins a corner. Up come the big lads... but it's a great claim by the goalkeeper. He plucks the ball out of the air and then humps the ball a mile down the pitch. 5:50PM 90 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Mane turns Cionek inside out on the left wing and earns himself a corner. Great play. It's swung in... but the referee has spotted a foul in the box and it's a free-kick. 5:48PM 88 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Well this is a lot better now. The crowd is alive, Poland are getting everyone forward. "Just get it in the box!" says an exasperated McCoist. "That's how you got your goal!" he offers, as Poland keep up the short passing. 5:46PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! POLAND ARE BACK IN IT! Poland 1 - 2 Senegal (Grzegorz Krychowiak, 86 min) A free-kick from distance is crossed into the box and Krychowiak jumps to power the header past the goalkeeper! But the VAR is checking for offside. It must be a goal... The goal stands! Brilliant header and free-kick from Poland. 5:45PM 85 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 The VAR are checking this decision! It could be a penalty... but VAR say no. Oooooh that would have been a story. 5:44PM 84 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Final sub for Poland. Piszczek off, Bereszynski on. Sarr attacks the right wing, is tackled and stays down... so Poland get the ball up the other end of the pitch. Sarr stays down for ages with a mysterious injury and the referee stops the game... but it turns out, miraculously, that Sarr is fine. The referee gestures from 50 yards for him to get up. He does.... and SARR IS IN! He's gone down in the penalty area and this could be a foul! The Poland players are FURIOUS with him! 5:42PM 82 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Possession: Poland vs Senegal Whenever Senegal get the ball they move it quickly with purpose. When they lose it they drop back and defend in numbers, ready to counter attack. There's nothing on show that suggests Poland are even bothered about the score staying like this. 5:40PM 80 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 "Just do something different to try and change the game!" McCoist says. Poland put a cross in from wide left which Kownacki heads into the ground. The atmosphere is fairly calm... but Poland are 10 minutes away from a big defeat! Where's the urgency? 5:38PM 78 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: FIFA Ally McCoist's getting wound up by the lack of adventure being shown by Poland. The fans are getting on their backs too. That makes a change from the general sound of apathy. You can actually hear it. 5:36PM 76 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Poland chip hopeful balls forward and Senegal have absolutely no problem dealing with it. Where is the imagination in this Poland team? 5:34PM 74 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Kownacki on, Milik off. He sprints over to the subs bench. 5:32PM 72 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 MILIK! That's very close. He makes a run to the near post to attack a cross from wide right but pokes it wide of the goal. Better from Poland. The game's a bit scrappy now. Gueye is booked for a late one on Krychowiak, both teams are swapping possession around the halfway line. Still Senegal look the more confident and hungry of the two. 5:29PM 70 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES And this is Krychowiak's pass which led to the goal. Poland are horrible here today. No invention, no speed, no tempo to the passes - Senegal have got their number. 5:27PM 68 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the moment Niang poked the ball beyond Szczesny for his goal. 5:26PM 66 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Great control by Sabaly. He wants the ball more than Piszczcek and steals it from him in the air, sprinting down the left wing until he hits a dead end. Senegal sitting back in a deeper shape now waiting to counter-attack Poland, who have to get more men forward now if they want to score. 5:23PM 63 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Diouf is subbed for Ndoye. Poland are raging about that goal because Niang had just come back on the pitch are leaving because he was 'injured'. It's a defensive error though - no point in blaming anyone but themselves for that error. 5:20PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! IT'S 2-0! OUT OF NOWHERE! Poland 0 - 2 Senegal (M'Baye Niang, 60 min) Krychowiak passes back to the goalkeeper but it's awful! Niang chases, Szczesny comes flying off his line way too early and the centre-back doesn't intercept.... and Niang is in! He pokes it past the goalie and then taps into an empty net! That's his first ever international goal! 5:20PM 60 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Niang goes down after contesting a header but Poland play on. Diouf is furious about it and goes charging into Krychowiak, fouling him to stop the game. Just for a second it looks like things might bubble over but heads cool as the referee calms them down. Incidentally, Niang is absolutely fine. 5:18PM 58 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland attack down the left and cross to the back post and Piszcek arrives! His effort is poor. "He didn't believe it," says McCoist as we watch the replay of that one. Poor from the Poland right-back. Miss: Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Lukasz Piszczek, 56 min) 5:15PM 56 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland vs Senegal When the average positions stats look like that it helps explain why a game might not be captivating. It's been exciting in flashes but a lot of the game has been played in midfield. 5:14PM 54 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 A quick attack down the left wing for Senegal gets Sabaly in at goal. He pulls the ball back across the box but Mane can't turn it at goal and his shot is blocked. Credit: AP Senegal have the ball in the final third, Mane switches play, the cross is whipped in from wide right and a striker swings a foot at it! He's missed the ball! If that had connected it could well have flown into the back of the net. 5:11PM 52 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Lewandowski takes the free-kick... and it's a strong save by N'Diaye at the far post. Poland have upped the tempo now and look much better than they were in the first half. 5:09PM 50 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland might have changed to 3-5-1-1 for this half. The three centre-backs should be able to nullify the Senegal front two, and that helps wing-backs get higher up the pitch to lend service to Lewandowski. Great play by Lewandowski! He steals the ball at half way, breaks away and Sane brings him down before he gets to the box. It's a clear booking and now Poland have a great free-kick opportunity. 5:07PM 48 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That's a really bad start for the half for Bednarek. His head has collided with the body of a Senegal forward and he might have jarred his neck... or at least taking a whack to the jaw. He's up and back ready to play though. 5:05PM KICK OFF 2 And we're back! Substitution for Poland though. Blaszczykowski hasn't made it out for the second half and Bednarek has replaced him. 5:03PM Gueye's goal / Cionek's own goal Credit: REUTERS Give it to the attacking player I say. Without the shot there wouldn't have been a goal! 4:59PM Bilic is great chat today "4-4-2 is back in business - Atletico, Monaco - but then at least you have one of the wingers if not both midfielders who go inside and the full-backs doing that (flying high up the wing) but none of the teams are doing that. It's two vs two." "It's easy to read," says Henrik Larsson. 4:57PM Slaven Bilic on the match "It's easy to explain why this is a boring game. Both teams play the same system so they cancel each other out. So in this kind of game a goal comes from a mistake or transition, it's like a mirror. The only players changing positions are Niang and Mane, it's very predictable." 4:55PM No shots on target by either side Poland vs Senegal shots on goal 4:49PM HALF TIME A deserved lead for Senegal and there is work to do for Poland here. They've been outclassed and need to bring a lot more to the table if they're going to get anything out of this. Average touch positions (45 + 1 min) 4:46PM 44 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland look a little pedestrian here. Credit: AFP Senegal in control of possession, taking their time, winning aerial duels, following up second balls with urgency and keeping cool. 4:44PM 42 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Sarr speeds past Rybus like a shooting star and wins a corner. It's curled out, to the six yard box and SANE IS THERE! Oh that's a bad miss! The cross has hit the penalty area and the defender has headed down into the ground and bounced the ball over the bar. That should be 2-0. 4:42PM 40 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That goal's going to count as an own goal apparently because Gueye's shot was heading wide. That sucks. Senegal are really impressive here, I wonder if Poland underestimated them a little bit. They're playing with a lot of energy and freedom but look really well drilled defensively and Poland can't get near them. 4:39PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! GUEYE HAS SCORED! Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Idrissa Gueye, 37 min) Great attack by Senegal but Poland's defending is dreadful here! Mane looks like he's going to hit it, passes it to his right and Gueye has space. He lines up the shot, fires it low and it takes a BIG deflection off Cionek and wrong-foots the goalkeeper. Senegal have the lead! 4:38PM 36 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Blaszczkowski is struggling a little bit after riding a tackle on the edge of the Senegal box but appears to be OK for now. 4:36PM 34 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Sarr controls a long switched pas son his chest beautifully, runs down the right and crosses in low... but a defender stabs it away. Senegal keep up the pressure, the ball comes in from the right again and Diouf attacks! But he can't get enough on his header, the centre-backs clear their lines and there was an offside in the buildup anyway. 4:34PM 32 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Nothing too much happening at the moment. The ball is mostly at halfway with no particular team really in control of it. Both looking to attack but losing the ball too early to do anything with it. 4:32PM 30 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Rybus runs in behind the Senegal back line but the goalkeeper comes out to claim before it becomes a problem. 4:30PM 28 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal probe the final third, keep up the high press but Poland go past it really easily and the break should be on! But as they try to come out of their own half it becomes apparent that absolutely nobody is high enough up the pitch to pass to and Senegal easily absorb the counter. 4:27PM 26 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 You can see the different approaches in this graphics: Possession: Poland vs Senegal Poland keeping more of the ball but doing it in safer positions. Senegal a little more direct and attacking the wings. Poland vs Senegal 4:25PM 24 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Credit: AFP Must be an awful pain making sure these guys are always standing in the right order. Lewandowski has tried a hopeful attempt at a volley, while off balance, from 20 yards but puts it harmlessly behind. 4:24PM 23 mins -Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal are holding their defensive shape (4-4-2) well here to deny Poland space to pass into. Poland are doing exactly the same thing, mind. 4:22PM 21 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland get up the pitch and look to have a decent chance to get the ball in the box here. It's chipped in, Milik throws himself at it and heads over. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Kamil Grosicki, 20 min) 4:21PM 19 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 All of a sudden Senegal are in! It's another quick attack, they dribble past players before making a forward pass but the shot inside the box is dragged wide. 4:18PM 16 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland attack quickly and win a corner but Senegal defend their box well and get it away, then win a throw. Senegal wait at half way to steal the ball and Sarr then goes on a dribble into the area, falls under close attention and makes an ambitious attempt at claiming a penalty. Never ever. 4:15PM 14 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Krychowiak fouls one player then lunges into another and has been booked for the first infringement. It was like he was determined to get booked there! Senegal have a free-kick about 30 yards - probably too far to shoot - but it looks like they're considering it. Sane steps up... and that's awful. He tries a knuckleball effort off the side of his foot but basically passes it out for a goal kick. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Salif Sané, 13 min) 4:13PM 11 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland are a 4-4-1-1 at the moment with Krychowiak doing a man-marking job on Mane whenever Senegal get forward on the ball. Mane puts in a great wee pass to the box but Cionek reads it well and shields until the goalkeeper can claim. 4:10PM 9 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 McCoist has pointed out the strategy at set pieces seems to be that Senegal put all their attacking players in the same position so that when they split, it's really difficult to pick up a man and stop them getting a head on any crosses into the box. Credit: FIFA Senegal have started well here. Poland seem measured and patient whereas Senegal are direct and taking the game to them. 4:08PM 7 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 According to Ally McCoist on co-comms, Senegal are heavily outnumbered in the crowd. "There are little pockets of fans but that's it" he says. Senegal win a corner, the centre-backs come forward for it. Niang prepares to take the kick... but it's cleared at the near post. 4:07PM 5 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland now keeping the ball and working forward well. Senegal have to be alert to defend as the ball is moved into the box but win possession and again come out from the back. 4:04PM 2 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal drop deep to defend a Poland attack but break into an attacking shape really quickly... then calmly pass their way out from the back. 4:02PM KICK OFF And we're off! 4:01PM National anthems done Credit: FIFA Nothing overly emotional in the national anthems and now, after ANOTHER betting advert, it's time for lovely fitba. I can't help but feel this lady is being rather presumptive. She could look quite the fool at the final whistle if Senegal turn up here today. Credit: OFFSIDE 3:55PM Here come the players 3:50PM Senegal's manager “I am certain that one day an African country will win the World Cup." Not my words, but those of Aliou Cisse, Senegal's manager and a man who really does think Senegal are in the running to do something special in this tournament. 3:47PM The last game of the first round How are you doing at Fantasy Football? The first round of games is over and if you're like me, you only have a few substitutions left to make. In my pre-tournament selection I really thought Senegal would do well here and I'm excited to see how Mane and co get on. There have been some big shocks already - Japan earlier was another! - but we're noticing some real trends. Most goals seem to come from set pieces and particularly penalties, with our old friends VAR helping out a lot. Correct decisions often mean more fouls which means more goals. 3:32PM Patrice Evra on Senegal "Don't forget about Koulibaly. Sarri made him improve a lot, he's really cool with the ball and is a massive asset for them." 3:30PM Slaven Bilic likes the look of Senegal The ITV panel are discussing how good Senegal might be. "They have something different," is Bilic's take on it. 3:27PM The World Cup in pictures This is lovely wee gallery to have a look through: Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 3:17PM Jamie Carragher on England last night Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama Our expert columnist has had his say on Raheem Sterling vs Marcus Rashford. 3:14PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 3:02PM Poland players inspecting the pitch There they are. Looking for holes and trying to find any bits of the pitch that will make the ball go super fast. 3:00PM Starting lineups Poland Szczesny, Pazdan, Cionek, Milik, Lewandowski, Krychowiak, Grosicki, Rybus, Blaszczykowski, Zielinski, Pirszczek Senegal KH. Ndiaye; Koulibaly, Gana, Sane, Diouf, Mane, Sabaly, A. Ndiaye, Ismaila, Niang, M. Wague 2:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Spartak Stadium We're in Moscow this afternoon/evening at what is usually Spartak Moscow's stadium. It looks a little something like this: Credit: GETTY IMAGES A bit like a multiplex cinema at a seaside resort. 2:43PM Senegal fans! Credit: TASS This is the first Senegal strip or flag I've seen in any of the pre-match build up photographs. Love that Senegal kit. 2:34PM What to expect from today Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Poland and Senegal's first match of the 2018 World Cup! It's a tough one to call and both teams might fancy their chances of getting all three points today - both have some really talented players and are capable of causing damage! Poland's best ever performance at the World Cup was in 1986 when they reached the semi-final: World Cup record: Poland Robert Lewandowski is by far their best player and at 29, is at peak age for a striker. This will surely be his last World Cup as one of the planet's greatest forwards though and Poland must ensure they give him enough ammunition to get every ounce of attacking talent squeezed out of him That's not to say Poland aren't decent elsewhere. Wijciech Szczesny has turned into an excellent goalkeeper, Kamil Glik won Ligue 1 with Monaco not long ago and Arkadiusz Milik has high potential. He currently plays for Napoli and big things are expected. World Cup record: Senegal Senegal's history in the competition isn't quite as impressive and aside from that brief 2002 foray to the quarter-finals, they haven't been anywhere near it. There are some great players in the current side though - Kalidou Koulibaly is a great defender, Idrissa Gueye is like a lesser-known N'Golo Kante and you might be rather familiar with Sadio Mane. There's a lot of creativity, some midfield steel and a lot of pace in this team but Poland will be aware of it. I'd imagine Poland will look to contain the game, attack down the wings and hook crosses in for Lewandowski but will defend deep and deny space for the likes of Mane and Keita Balde to exploit on the counter. Team news will be with us very shortly so make sure you stick around to get all the updates, buildup and analysis you could possibly need. And as if this game wasn't already interesting, at the moment it looks like the unfancied Japan are about to do a number on Colombia! They're winning 2-1 with a man advantage just now - this could flip the outcome of the group.
The Senegalese players and fans were celebrating with all the gusto that you might expect for one of the greatest results in their history but it was the contrast with their manager, Aliou Cisse, which felt most significant. He simply strolled towards the beaten Poland manager Adam Nawalka and offered his hand, before calmly heading towards the tunnel in the most business-like of ways. Yes, he did reappear a few moments later to acknowledge, with a tap towards his heart, those Senegalese fans who were joyously dancing in the aisles but the overall message was clear. In Cisse’s mind, this was no great surprise and he is planning for Senegal’s World Cup to be about much more than simply becoming the first African team to win so far this summer in Russia following defeats already for Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Tunisia. “We managed to control the game tactically and emotionally - that is very important,” said Cisse. “We are not too euphoric; we have highs, lows and we are not going to jump up and down. We need to stay humble.” Such measured leadership should not be mistaken for a lack of emotion. Cisse broke down in front of his squad earlier in the week, such was the importance for him of again leading his country on world football’s biggest stage after he had previously been the captain when they reached the 2002 quarter-final. The only black manager in the tournament, he is also continuing to serve as a wonderful example to other emerging African coaches. “Senegal are proud to represent the whole continent,” he said. Good planning, tactical discipline, the presence of Sadio Mane and two fairly freakish goals ultimately settled this for Senegal. Senegal coach Aliou Cisse played in the country's 2002 World Cup team, where they reached the quarter-finals Credit: AP The first deflected off both Michal Pazdam and Thiago Cionek before going in, while the second was controversially gifted to Mbaye Niang. The Senegal striker had left the pitch for treatment and was then waved on by the fourth official just as Grzegorz Krychowiak hooked a ball back to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Niang sprinted on from the side of the pitch and reached the ball ahead of Szczesny, who had left his goal in an attempt to negate the danger, before tapping the ball into an empty net. Niang later stressed that the need for treatment had been genuine and his intention innocent but it had clearly caught Poland unaware. “Wojciech tried to save the situation,” said Nawalka. “We were very surprised. The players thought a substitute was coming on and that is why there was a big misunderstanding.” On the very same pitch as Lionel Messi so struggled against Iceland to make a decisive contribution, Mane had earlier been influential. He started on the left but, while Messi played just about the entire 90 minutes on Saturday in the area between Iceland’s midfield and defence, the Liverpool winger really magnified his own threat with his movement. There were several eye-catching passes and dribbles but it was his work off the ball that was just as impressive, especially once Poland seized control of possession during the second half. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players After Robert Lewandowski had forced a good save of Khadim N’Diaye with a free-kick, an excellent header by Krychowiak did briefly give Poland some hope. Nawalka, though, would make no attempt to hide the earlier deficiencies and effectively singled out the entire midfield for criticism. “There have been many bad elements,” he said. “The wingers didn’t do a good job and, in the centre, we didn’t do well either. Two goals following our mistakes was something we were very unhappy with. In the first half we did not play. The second half was better but too little.” World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 6:24PM Some stats for you Senegal have won 50% of their World Cup matches (3/6), the best win rate of any African nation in the competition. All three of Senegal’s World Cup wins have been against European nations (France, Sweden and Poland). Poland have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986. Poland have lost seven of their last nine World Cup matches (W2), failing to score in six of those losses. Poland are the first nation to make two errors leading to a goal in a single World Cup match so far in 2018. 6:03PM Goal controversy Slaven Bilic: "For me the referee makes a mistake, Krychowiak makes a mistake, Bednarek makes a mistake". Henrik Larsson: "I think the referee's read it very poorly there. Although the ball is in Poland's control, Bednarek doesn't see what's happening, Szczesny does but he sees it too late." 6:01PM Patrice Evra delighted I'm happy! Thank you to all the Senegal players, nobody expects them to win, no other African team has won. They played for the pride, we have to congratulate the manager, it's a good day. 5:59PM Next up The last game of today is Russia vs Egypt! Will Mo Salah make a big appearance? Will home support drive Russia onto another blockbusting performance? You can follow all the action with Alan Tyers in our liveblog here. 5:56PM Krychowiak's goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's a great photo! You can see Krychowiak beating the centre-backs to the ball. 5:54PM FULL TIME That's it! Senegal deserved the points and put on a superb performance here. They attacked with pace and purpose, created chances, coutner-attacked well and were really well drilled in defence. Poland, by way of comparison, offered hardly anything of note and were well beaten. 5:53PM 90 mins +4 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Do Poland have anything left in them? They're running out of time. But it's Senegal who are close scoring as Mane has a header in space inside the box! He cushions a header back across goal and the chance is gone, Poland get it up the pitch and are looking to get the ball into the box now. It's way more direct and now they're causing Senegal problems. 5:51PM 90 mins +2 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 The crowd are getting excited! Krychowiak is trying to win space to shoot in the box, waits, waits, waits... wins a corner. Up come the big lads... but it's a great claim by the goalkeeper. He plucks the ball out of the air and then humps the ball a mile down the pitch. 5:50PM 90 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Mane turns Cionek inside out on the left wing and earns himself a corner. Great play. It's swung in... but the referee has spotted a foul in the box and it's a free-kick. 5:48PM 88 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Well this is a lot better now. The crowd is alive, Poland are getting everyone forward. "Just get it in the box!" says an exasperated McCoist. "That's how you got your goal!" he offers, as Poland keep up the short passing. 5:46PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! POLAND ARE BACK IN IT! Poland 1 - 2 Senegal (Grzegorz Krychowiak, 86 min) A free-kick from distance is crossed into the box and Krychowiak jumps to power the header past the goalkeeper! But the VAR is checking for offside. It must be a goal... The goal stands! Brilliant header and free-kick from Poland. 5:45PM 85 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 The VAR are checking this decision! It could be a penalty... but VAR say no. Oooooh that would have been a story. 5:44PM 84 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Final sub for Poland. Piszczek off, Bereszynski on. Sarr attacks the right wing, is tackled and stays down... so Poland get the ball up the other end of the pitch. Sarr stays down for ages with a mysterious injury and the referee stops the game... but it turns out, miraculously, that Sarr is fine. The referee gestures from 50 yards for him to get up. He does.... and SARR IS IN! He's gone down in the penalty area and this could be a foul! The Poland players are FURIOUS with him! 5:42PM 82 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Possession: Poland vs Senegal Whenever Senegal get the ball they move it quickly with purpose. When they lose it they drop back and defend in numbers, ready to counter attack. There's nothing on show that suggests Poland are even bothered about the score staying like this. 5:40PM 80 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 "Just do something different to try and change the game!" McCoist says. Poland put a cross in from wide left which Kownacki heads into the ground. The atmosphere is fairly calm... but Poland are 10 minutes away from a big defeat! Where's the urgency? 5:38PM 78 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: FIFA Ally McCoist's getting wound up by the lack of adventure being shown by Poland. The fans are getting on their backs too. That makes a change from the general sound of apathy. You can actually hear it. 5:36PM 76 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Poland chip hopeful balls forward and Senegal have absolutely no problem dealing with it. Where is the imagination in this Poland team? 5:34PM 74 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Kownacki on, Milik off. He sprints over to the subs bench. 5:32PM 72 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 MILIK! That's very close. He makes a run to the near post to attack a cross from wide right but pokes it wide of the goal. Better from Poland. The game's a bit scrappy now. Gueye is booked for a late one on Krychowiak, both teams are swapping possession around the halfway line. Still Senegal look the more confident and hungry of the two. 5:29PM 70 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES And this is Krychowiak's pass which led to the goal. Poland are horrible here today. No invention, no speed, no tempo to the passes - Senegal have got their number. 5:27PM 68 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the moment Niang poked the ball beyond Szczesny for his goal. 5:26PM 66 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Great control by Sabaly. He wants the ball more than Piszczcek and steals it from him in the air, sprinting down the left wing until he hits a dead end. Senegal sitting back in a deeper shape now waiting to counter-attack Poland, who have to get more men forward now if they want to score. 5:23PM 63 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Diouf is subbed for Ndoye. Poland are raging about that goal because Niang had just come back on the pitch are leaving because he was 'injured'. It's a defensive error though - no point in blaming anyone but themselves for that error. 5:20PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! IT'S 2-0! OUT OF NOWHERE! Poland 0 - 2 Senegal (M'Baye Niang, 60 min) Krychowiak passes back to the goalkeeper but it's awful! Niang chases, Szczesny comes flying off his line way too early and the centre-back doesn't intercept.... and Niang is in! He pokes it past the goalie and then taps into an empty net! That's his first ever international goal! 5:20PM 60 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Niang goes down after contesting a header but Poland play on. Diouf is furious about it and goes charging into Krychowiak, fouling him to stop the game. Just for a second it looks like things might bubble over but heads cool as the referee calms them down. Incidentally, Niang is absolutely fine. 5:18PM 58 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland attack down the left and cross to the back post and Piszcek arrives! His effort is poor. "He didn't believe it," says McCoist as we watch the replay of that one. Poor from the Poland right-back. Miss: Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Lukasz Piszczek, 56 min) 5:15PM 56 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland vs Senegal When the average positions stats look like that it helps explain why a game might not be captivating. It's been exciting in flashes but a lot of the game has been played in midfield. 5:14PM 54 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 A quick attack down the left wing for Senegal gets Sabaly in at goal. He pulls the ball back across the box but Mane can't turn it at goal and his shot is blocked. Credit: AP Senegal have the ball in the final third, Mane switches play, the cross is whipped in from wide right and a striker swings a foot at it! He's missed the ball! If that had connected it could well have flown into the back of the net. 5:11PM 52 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Lewandowski takes the free-kick... and it's a strong save by N'Diaye at the far post. Poland have upped the tempo now and look much better than they were in the first half. 5:09PM 50 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland might have changed to 3-5-1-1 for this half. The three centre-backs should be able to nullify the Senegal front two, and that helps wing-backs get higher up the pitch to lend service to Lewandowski. Great play by Lewandowski! He steals the ball at half way, breaks away and Sane brings him down before he gets to the box. It's a clear booking and now Poland have a great free-kick opportunity. 5:07PM 48 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That's a really bad start for the half for Bednarek. His head has collided with the body of a Senegal forward and he might have jarred his neck... or at least taking a whack to the jaw. He's up and back ready to play though. 5:05PM KICK OFF 2 And we're back! Substitution for Poland though. Blaszczykowski hasn't made it out for the second half and Bednarek has replaced him. 5:03PM Gueye's goal / Cionek's own goal Credit: REUTERS Give it to the attacking player I say. Without the shot there wouldn't have been a goal! 4:59PM Bilic is great chat today "4-4-2 is back in business - Atletico, Monaco - but then at least you have one of the wingers if not both midfielders who go inside and the full-backs doing that (flying high up the wing) but none of the teams are doing that. It's two vs two." "It's easy to read," says Henrik Larsson. 4:57PM Slaven Bilic on the match "It's easy to explain why this is a boring game. Both teams play the same system so they cancel each other out. So in this kind of game a goal comes from a mistake or transition, it's like a mirror. The only players changing positions are Niang and Mane, it's very predictable." 4:55PM No shots on target by either side Poland vs Senegal shots on goal 4:49PM HALF TIME A deserved lead for Senegal and there is work to do for Poland here. They've been outclassed and need to bring a lot more to the table if they're going to get anything out of this. Average touch positions (45 + 1 min) 4:46PM 44 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland look a little pedestrian here. Credit: AFP Senegal in control of possession, taking their time, winning aerial duels, following up second balls with urgency and keeping cool. 4:44PM 42 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Sarr speeds past Rybus like a shooting star and wins a corner. It's curled out, to the six yard box and SANE IS THERE! Oh that's a bad miss! The cross has hit the penalty area and the defender has headed down into the ground and bounced the ball over the bar. That should be 2-0. 4:42PM 40 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That goal's going to count as an own goal apparently because Gueye's shot was heading wide. That sucks. Senegal are really impressive here, I wonder if Poland underestimated them a little bit. They're playing with a lot of energy and freedom but look really well drilled defensively and Poland can't get near them. 4:39PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! GUEYE HAS SCORED! Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Idrissa Gueye, 37 min) Great attack by Senegal but Poland's defending is dreadful here! Mane looks like he's going to hit it, passes it to his right and Gueye has space. He lines up the shot, fires it low and it takes a BIG deflection off Cionek and wrong-foots the goalkeeper. Senegal have the lead! 4:38PM 36 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Blaszczkowski is struggling a little bit after riding a tackle on the edge of the Senegal box but appears to be OK for now. 4:36PM 34 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Sarr controls a long switched pas son his chest beautifully, runs down the right and crosses in low... but a defender stabs it away. Senegal keep up the pressure, the ball comes in from the right again and Diouf attacks! But he can't get enough on his header, the centre-backs clear their lines and there was an offside in the buildup anyway. 4:34PM 32 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Nothing too much happening at the moment. The ball is mostly at halfway with no particular team really in control of it. Both looking to attack but losing the ball too early to do anything with it. 4:32PM 30 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Rybus runs in behind the Senegal back line but the goalkeeper comes out to claim before it becomes a problem. 4:30PM 28 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal probe the final third, keep up the high press but Poland go past it really easily and the break should be on! But as they try to come out of their own half it becomes apparent that absolutely nobody is high enough up the pitch to pass to and Senegal easily absorb the counter. 4:27PM 26 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 You can see the different approaches in this graphics: Possession: Poland vs Senegal Poland keeping more of the ball but doing it in safer positions. Senegal a little more direct and attacking the wings. Poland vs Senegal 4:25PM 24 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Credit: AFP Must be an awful pain making sure these guys are always standing in the right order. Lewandowski has tried a hopeful attempt at a volley, while off balance, from 20 yards but puts it harmlessly behind. 4:24PM 23 mins -Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal are holding their defensive shape (4-4-2) well here to deny Poland space to pass into. Poland are doing exactly the same thing, mind. 4:22PM 21 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland get up the pitch and look to have a decent chance to get the ball in the box here. It's chipped in, Milik throws himself at it and heads over. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Kamil Grosicki, 20 min) 4:21PM 19 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 All of a sudden Senegal are in! It's another quick attack, they dribble past players before making a forward pass but the shot inside the box is dragged wide. 4:18PM 16 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland attack quickly and win a corner but Senegal defend their box well and get it away, then win a throw. Senegal wait at half way to steal the ball and Sarr then goes on a dribble into the area, falls under close attention and makes an ambitious attempt at claiming a penalty. Never ever. 4:15PM 14 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Krychowiak fouls one player then lunges into another and has been booked for the first infringement. It was like he was determined to get booked there! Senegal have a free-kick about 30 yards - probably too far to shoot - but it looks like they're considering it. Sane steps up... and that's awful. He tries a knuckleball effort off the side of his foot but basically passes it out for a goal kick. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Salif Sané, 13 min) 4:13PM 11 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland are a 4-4-1-1 at the moment with Krychowiak doing a man-marking job on Mane whenever Senegal get forward on the ball. Mane puts in a great wee pass to the box but Cionek reads it well and shields until the goalkeeper can claim. 4:10PM 9 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 McCoist has pointed out the strategy at set pieces seems to be that Senegal put all their attacking players in the same position so that when they split, it's really difficult to pick up a man and stop them getting a head on any crosses into the box. Credit: FIFA Senegal have started well here. Poland seem measured and patient whereas Senegal are direct and taking the game to them. 4:08PM 7 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 According to Ally McCoist on co-comms, Senegal are heavily outnumbered in the crowd. "There are little pockets of fans but that's it" he says. Senegal win a corner, the centre-backs come forward for it. Niang prepares to take the kick... but it's cleared at the near post. 4:07PM 5 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland now keeping the ball and working forward well. Senegal have to be alert to defend as the ball is moved into the box but win possession and again come out from the back. 4:04PM 2 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal drop deep to defend a Poland attack but break into an attacking shape really quickly... then calmly pass their way out from the back. 4:02PM KICK OFF And we're off! 4:01PM National anthems done Credit: FIFA Nothing overly emotional in the national anthems and now, after ANOTHER betting advert, it's time for lovely fitba. I can't help but feel this lady is being rather presumptive. She could look quite the fool at the final whistle if Senegal turn up here today. Credit: OFFSIDE 3:55PM Here come the players 3:50PM Senegal's manager “I am certain that one day an African country will win the World Cup." Not my words, but those of Aliou Cisse, Senegal's manager and a man who really does think Senegal are in the running to do something special in this tournament. 3:47PM The last game of the first round How are you doing at Fantasy Football? The first round of games is over and if you're like me, you only have a few substitutions left to make. In my pre-tournament selection I really thought Senegal would do well here and I'm excited to see how Mane and co get on. There have been some big shocks already - Japan earlier was another! - but we're noticing some real trends. Most goals seem to come from set pieces and particularly penalties, with our old friends VAR helping out a lot. Correct decisions often mean more fouls which means more goals. 3:32PM Patrice Evra on Senegal "Don't forget about Koulibaly. Sarri made him improve a lot, he's really cool with the ball and is a massive asset for them." 3:30PM Slaven Bilic likes the look of Senegal The ITV panel are discussing how good Senegal might be. "They have something different," is Bilic's take on it. 3:27PM The World Cup in pictures This is lovely wee gallery to have a look through: Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 3:17PM Jamie Carragher on England last night Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama Our expert columnist has had his say on Raheem Sterling vs Marcus Rashford. 3:14PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 3:02PM Poland players inspecting the pitch There they are. Looking for holes and trying to find any bits of the pitch that will make the ball go super fast. 3:00PM Starting lineups Poland Szczesny, Pazdan, Cionek, Milik, Lewandowski, Krychowiak, Grosicki, Rybus, Blaszczykowski, Zielinski, Pirszczek Senegal KH. Ndiaye; Koulibaly, Gana, Sane, Diouf, Mane, Sabaly, A. Ndiaye, Ismaila, Niang, M. Wague 2:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Spartak Stadium We're in Moscow this afternoon/evening at what is usually Spartak Moscow's stadium. It looks a little something like this: Credit: GETTY IMAGES A bit like a multiplex cinema at a seaside resort. 2:43PM Senegal fans! Credit: TASS This is the first Senegal strip or flag I've seen in any of the pre-match build up photographs. Love that Senegal kit. 2:34PM What to expect from today Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Poland and Senegal's first match of the 2018 World Cup! It's a tough one to call and both teams might fancy their chances of getting all three points today - both have some really talented players and are capable of causing damage! Poland's best ever performance at the World Cup was in 1986 when they reached the semi-final: World Cup record: Poland Robert Lewandowski is by far their best player and at 29, is at peak age for a striker. This will surely be his last World Cup as one of the planet's greatest forwards though and Poland must ensure they give him enough ammunition to get every ounce of attacking talent squeezed out of him That's not to say Poland aren't decent elsewhere. Wijciech Szczesny has turned into an excellent goalkeeper, Kamil Glik won Ligue 1 with Monaco not long ago and Arkadiusz Milik has high potential. He currently plays for Napoli and big things are expected. World Cup record: Senegal Senegal's history in the competition isn't quite as impressive and aside from that brief 2002 foray to the quarter-finals, they haven't been anywhere near it. There are some great players in the current side though - Kalidou Koulibaly is a great defender, Idrissa Gueye is like a lesser-known N'Golo Kante and you might be rather familiar with Sadio Mane. There's a lot of creativity, some midfield steel and a lot of pace in this team but Poland will be aware of it. I'd imagine Poland will look to contain the game, attack down the wings and hook crosses in for Lewandowski but will defend deep and deny space for the likes of Mane and Keita Balde to exploit on the counter. Team news will be with us very shortly so make sure you stick around to get all the updates, buildup and analysis you could possibly need. And as if this game wasn't already interesting, at the moment it looks like the unfancied Japan are about to do a number on Colombia! They're winning 2-1 with a man advantage just now - this could flip the outcome of the group.
Senegal survive late Poland onslaught to throw Group H wide open
The Senegalese players and fans were celebrating with all the gusto that you might expect for one of the greatest results in their history but it was the contrast with their manager, Aliou Cisse, which felt most significant. He simply strolled towards the beaten Poland manager Adam Nawalka and offered his hand, before calmly heading towards the tunnel in the most business-like of ways. Yes, he did reappear a few moments later to acknowledge, with a tap towards his heart, those Senegalese fans who were joyously dancing in the aisles but the overall message was clear. In Cisse’s mind, this was no great surprise and he is planning for Senegal’s World Cup to be about much more than simply becoming the first African team to win so far this summer in Russia following defeats already for Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Tunisia. “We managed to control the game tactically and emotionally - that is very important,” said Cisse. “We are not too euphoric; we have highs, lows and we are not going to jump up and down. We need to stay humble.” Such measured leadership should not be mistaken for a lack of emotion. Cisse broke down in front of his squad earlier in the week, such was the importance for him of again leading his country on world football’s biggest stage after he had previously been the captain when they reached the 2002 quarter-final. The only black manager in the tournament, he is also continuing to serve as a wonderful example to other emerging African coaches. “Senegal are proud to represent the whole continent,” he said. Good planning, tactical discipline, the presence of Sadio Mane and two fairly freakish goals ultimately settled this for Senegal. Senegal coach Aliou Cisse played in the country's 2002 World Cup team, where they reached the quarter-finals Credit: AP The first deflected off both Michal Pazdam and Thiago Cionek before going in, while the second was controversially gifted to Mbaye Niang. The Senegal striker had left the pitch for treatment and was then waved on by the fourth official just as Grzegorz Krychowiak hooked a ball back to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Niang sprinted on from the side of the pitch and reached the ball ahead of Szczesny, who had left his goal in an attempt to negate the danger, before tapping the ball into an empty net. Niang later stressed that the need for treatment had been genuine and his intention innocent but it had clearly caught Poland unaware. “Wojciech tried to save the situation,” said Nawalka. “We were very surprised. The players thought a substitute was coming on and that is why there was a big misunderstanding.” On the very same pitch as Lionel Messi so struggled against Iceland to make a decisive contribution, Mane had earlier been influential. He started on the left but, while Messi played just about the entire 90 minutes on Saturday in the area between Iceland’s midfield and defence, the Liverpool winger really magnified his own threat with his movement. There were several eye-catching passes and dribbles but it was his work off the ball that was just as impressive, especially once Poland seized control of possession during the second half. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players After Robert Lewandowski had forced a good save of Khadim N’Diaye with a free-kick, an excellent header by Krychowiak did briefly give Poland some hope. Nawalka, though, would make no attempt to hide the earlier deficiencies and effectively singled out the entire midfield for criticism. “There have been many bad elements,” he said. “The wingers didn’t do a good job and, in the centre, we didn’t do well either. Two goals following our mistakes was something we were very unhappy with. In the first half we did not play. The second half was better but too little.” World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 6:24PM Some stats for you Senegal have won 50% of their World Cup matches (3/6), the best win rate of any African nation in the competition. All three of Senegal’s World Cup wins have been against European nations (France, Sweden and Poland). Poland have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986. Poland have lost seven of their last nine World Cup matches (W2), failing to score in six of those losses. Poland are the first nation to make two errors leading to a goal in a single World Cup match so far in 2018. 6:03PM Goal controversy Slaven Bilic: "For me the referee makes a mistake, Krychowiak makes a mistake, Bednarek makes a mistake". Henrik Larsson: "I think the referee's read it very poorly there. Although the ball is in Poland's control, Bednarek doesn't see what's happening, Szczesny does but he sees it too late." 6:01PM Patrice Evra delighted I'm happy! Thank you to all the Senegal players, nobody expects them to win, no other African team has won. They played for the pride, we have to congratulate the manager, it's a good day. 5:59PM Next up The last game of today is Russia vs Egypt! Will Mo Salah make a big appearance? Will home support drive Russia onto another blockbusting performance? You can follow all the action with Alan Tyers in our liveblog here. 5:56PM Krychowiak's goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's a great photo! You can see Krychowiak beating the centre-backs to the ball. 5:54PM FULL TIME That's it! Senegal deserved the points and put on a superb performance here. They attacked with pace and purpose, created chances, coutner-attacked well and were really well drilled in defence. Poland, by way of comparison, offered hardly anything of note and were well beaten. 5:53PM 90 mins +4 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Do Poland have anything left in them? They're running out of time. But it's Senegal who are close scoring as Mane has a header in space inside the box! He cushions a header back across goal and the chance is gone, Poland get it up the pitch and are looking to get the ball into the box now. It's way more direct and now they're causing Senegal problems. 5:51PM 90 mins +2 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 The crowd are getting excited! Krychowiak is trying to win space to shoot in the box, waits, waits, waits... wins a corner. Up come the big lads... but it's a great claim by the goalkeeper. He plucks the ball out of the air and then humps the ball a mile down the pitch. 5:50PM 90 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Mane turns Cionek inside out on the left wing and earns himself a corner. Great play. It's swung in... but the referee has spotted a foul in the box and it's a free-kick. 5:48PM 88 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Well this is a lot better now. The crowd is alive, Poland are getting everyone forward. "Just get it in the box!" says an exasperated McCoist. "That's how you got your goal!" he offers, as Poland keep up the short passing. 5:46PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! POLAND ARE BACK IN IT! Poland 1 - 2 Senegal (Grzegorz Krychowiak, 86 min) A free-kick from distance is crossed into the box and Krychowiak jumps to power the header past the goalkeeper! But the VAR is checking for offside. It must be a goal... The goal stands! Brilliant header and free-kick from Poland. 5:45PM 85 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 The VAR are checking this decision! It could be a penalty... but VAR say no. Oooooh that would have been a story. 5:44PM 84 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Final sub for Poland. Piszczek off, Bereszynski on. Sarr attacks the right wing, is tackled and stays down... so Poland get the ball up the other end of the pitch. Sarr stays down for ages with a mysterious injury and the referee stops the game... but it turns out, miraculously, that Sarr is fine. The referee gestures from 50 yards for him to get up. He does.... and SARR IS IN! He's gone down in the penalty area and this could be a foul! The Poland players are FURIOUS with him! 5:42PM 82 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Possession: Poland vs Senegal Whenever Senegal get the ball they move it quickly with purpose. When they lose it they drop back and defend in numbers, ready to counter attack. There's nothing on show that suggests Poland are even bothered about the score staying like this. 5:40PM 80 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 "Just do something different to try and change the game!" McCoist says. Poland put a cross in from wide left which Kownacki heads into the ground. The atmosphere is fairly calm... but Poland are 10 minutes away from a big defeat! Where's the urgency? 5:38PM 78 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: FIFA Ally McCoist's getting wound up by the lack of adventure being shown by Poland. The fans are getting on their backs too. That makes a change from the general sound of apathy. You can actually hear it. 5:36PM 76 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Poland chip hopeful balls forward and Senegal have absolutely no problem dealing with it. Where is the imagination in this Poland team? 5:34PM 74 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Kownacki on, Milik off. He sprints over to the subs bench. 5:32PM 72 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 MILIK! That's very close. He makes a run to the near post to attack a cross from wide right but pokes it wide of the goal. Better from Poland. The game's a bit scrappy now. Gueye is booked for a late one on Krychowiak, both teams are swapping possession around the halfway line. Still Senegal look the more confident and hungry of the two. 5:29PM 70 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES And this is Krychowiak's pass which led to the goal. Poland are horrible here today. No invention, no speed, no tempo to the passes - Senegal have got their number. 5:27PM 68 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the moment Niang poked the ball beyond Szczesny for his goal. 5:26PM 66 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Great control by Sabaly. He wants the ball more than Piszczcek and steals it from him in the air, sprinting down the left wing until he hits a dead end. Senegal sitting back in a deeper shape now waiting to counter-attack Poland, who have to get more men forward now if they want to score. 5:23PM 63 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Diouf is subbed for Ndoye. Poland are raging about that goal because Niang had just come back on the pitch are leaving because he was 'injured'. It's a defensive error though - no point in blaming anyone but themselves for that error. 5:20PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! IT'S 2-0! OUT OF NOWHERE! Poland 0 - 2 Senegal (M'Baye Niang, 60 min) Krychowiak passes back to the goalkeeper but it's awful! Niang chases, Szczesny comes flying off his line way too early and the centre-back doesn't intercept.... and Niang is in! He pokes it past the goalie and then taps into an empty net! That's his first ever international goal! 5:20PM 60 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Niang goes down after contesting a header but Poland play on. Diouf is furious about it and goes charging into Krychowiak, fouling him to stop the game. Just for a second it looks like things might bubble over but heads cool as the referee calms them down. Incidentally, Niang is absolutely fine. 5:18PM 58 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland attack down the left and cross to the back post and Piszcek arrives! His effort is poor. "He didn't believe it," says McCoist as we watch the replay of that one. Poor from the Poland right-back. Miss: Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Lukasz Piszczek, 56 min) 5:15PM 56 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland vs Senegal When the average positions stats look like that it helps explain why a game might not be captivating. It's been exciting in flashes but a lot of the game has been played in midfield. 5:14PM 54 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 A quick attack down the left wing for Senegal gets Sabaly in at goal. He pulls the ball back across the box but Mane can't turn it at goal and his shot is blocked. Credit: AP Senegal have the ball in the final third, Mane switches play, the cross is whipped in from wide right and a striker swings a foot at it! He's missed the ball! If that had connected it could well have flown into the back of the net. 5:11PM 52 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Lewandowski takes the free-kick... and it's a strong save by N'Diaye at the far post. Poland have upped the tempo now and look much better than they were in the first half. 5:09PM 50 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland might have changed to 3-5-1-1 for this half. The three centre-backs should be able to nullify the Senegal front two, and that helps wing-backs get higher up the pitch to lend service to Lewandowski. Great play by Lewandowski! He steals the ball at half way, breaks away and Sane brings him down before he gets to the box. It's a clear booking and now Poland have a great free-kick opportunity. 5:07PM 48 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That's a really bad start for the half for Bednarek. His head has collided with the body of a Senegal forward and he might have jarred his neck... or at least taking a whack to the jaw. He's up and back ready to play though. 5:05PM KICK OFF 2 And we're back! Substitution for Poland though. Blaszczykowski hasn't made it out for the second half and Bednarek has replaced him. 5:03PM Gueye's goal / Cionek's own goal Credit: REUTERS Give it to the attacking player I say. Without the shot there wouldn't have been a goal! 4:59PM Bilic is great chat today "4-4-2 is back in business - Atletico, Monaco - but then at least you have one of the wingers if not both midfielders who go inside and the full-backs doing that (flying high up the wing) but none of the teams are doing that. It's two vs two." "It's easy to read," says Henrik Larsson. 4:57PM Slaven Bilic on the match "It's easy to explain why this is a boring game. Both teams play the same system so they cancel each other out. So in this kind of game a goal comes from a mistake or transition, it's like a mirror. The only players changing positions are Niang and Mane, it's very predictable." 4:55PM No shots on target by either side Poland vs Senegal shots on goal 4:49PM HALF TIME A deserved lead for Senegal and there is work to do for Poland here. They've been outclassed and need to bring a lot more to the table if they're going to get anything out of this. Average touch positions (45 + 1 min) 4:46PM 44 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland look a little pedestrian here. Credit: AFP Senegal in control of possession, taking their time, winning aerial duels, following up second balls with urgency and keeping cool. 4:44PM 42 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Sarr speeds past Rybus like a shooting star and wins a corner. It's curled out, to the six yard box and SANE IS THERE! Oh that's a bad miss! The cross has hit the penalty area and the defender has headed down into the ground and bounced the ball over the bar. That should be 2-0. 4:42PM 40 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That goal's going to count as an own goal apparently because Gueye's shot was heading wide. That sucks. Senegal are really impressive here, I wonder if Poland underestimated them a little bit. They're playing with a lot of energy and freedom but look really well drilled defensively and Poland can't get near them. 4:39PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! GUEYE HAS SCORED! Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Idrissa Gueye, 37 min) Great attack by Senegal but Poland's defending is dreadful here! Mane looks like he's going to hit it, passes it to his right and Gueye has space. He lines up the shot, fires it low and it takes a BIG deflection off Cionek and wrong-foots the goalkeeper. Senegal have the lead! 4:38PM 36 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Blaszczkowski is struggling a little bit after riding a tackle on the edge of the Senegal box but appears to be OK for now. 4:36PM 34 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Sarr controls a long switched pas son his chest beautifully, runs down the right and crosses in low... but a defender stabs it away. Senegal keep up the pressure, the ball comes in from the right again and Diouf attacks! But he can't get enough on his header, the centre-backs clear their lines and there was an offside in the buildup anyway. 4:34PM 32 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Nothing too much happening at the moment. The ball is mostly at halfway with no particular team really in control of it. Both looking to attack but losing the ball too early to do anything with it. 4:32PM 30 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Rybus runs in behind the Senegal back line but the goalkeeper comes out to claim before it becomes a problem. 4:30PM 28 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal probe the final third, keep up the high press but Poland go past it really easily and the break should be on! But as they try to come out of their own half it becomes apparent that absolutely nobody is high enough up the pitch to pass to and Senegal easily absorb the counter. 4:27PM 26 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 You can see the different approaches in this graphics: Possession: Poland vs Senegal Poland keeping more of the ball but doing it in safer positions. Senegal a little more direct and attacking the wings. Poland vs Senegal 4:25PM 24 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Credit: AFP Must be an awful pain making sure these guys are always standing in the right order. Lewandowski has tried a hopeful attempt at a volley, while off balance, from 20 yards but puts it harmlessly behind. 4:24PM 23 mins -Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal are holding their defensive shape (4-4-2) well here to deny Poland space to pass into. Poland are doing exactly the same thing, mind. 4:22PM 21 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland get up the pitch and look to have a decent chance to get the ball in the box here. It's chipped in, Milik throws himself at it and heads over. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Kamil Grosicki, 20 min) 4:21PM 19 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 All of a sudden Senegal are in! It's another quick attack, they dribble past players before making a forward pass but the shot inside the box is dragged wide. 4:18PM 16 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland attack quickly and win a corner but Senegal defend their box well and get it away, then win a throw. Senegal wait at half way to steal the ball and Sarr then goes on a dribble into the area, falls under close attention and makes an ambitious attempt at claiming a penalty. Never ever. 4:15PM 14 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Krychowiak fouls one player then lunges into another and has been booked for the first infringement. It was like he was determined to get booked there! Senegal have a free-kick about 30 yards - probably too far to shoot - but it looks like they're considering it. Sane steps up... and that's awful. He tries a knuckleball effort off the side of his foot but basically passes it out for a goal kick. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Salif Sané, 13 min) 4:13PM 11 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland are a 4-4-1-1 at the moment with Krychowiak doing a man-marking job on Mane whenever Senegal get forward on the ball. Mane puts in a great wee pass to the box but Cionek reads it well and shields until the goalkeeper can claim. 4:10PM 9 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 McCoist has pointed out the strategy at set pieces seems to be that Senegal put all their attacking players in the same position so that when they split, it's really difficult to pick up a man and stop them getting a head on any crosses into the box. Credit: FIFA Senegal have started well here. Poland seem measured and patient whereas Senegal are direct and taking the game to them. 4:08PM 7 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 According to Ally McCoist on co-comms, Senegal are heavily outnumbered in the crowd. "There are little pockets of fans but that's it" he says. Senegal win a corner, the centre-backs come forward for it. Niang prepares to take the kick... but it's cleared at the near post. 4:07PM 5 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland now keeping the ball and working forward well. Senegal have to be alert to defend as the ball is moved into the box but win possession and again come out from the back. 4:04PM 2 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal drop deep to defend a Poland attack but break into an attacking shape really quickly... then calmly pass their way out from the back. 4:02PM KICK OFF And we're off! 4:01PM National anthems done Credit: FIFA Nothing overly emotional in the national anthems and now, after ANOTHER betting advert, it's time for lovely fitba. I can't help but feel this lady is being rather presumptive. She could look quite the fool at the final whistle if Senegal turn up here today. Credit: OFFSIDE 3:55PM Here come the players 3:50PM Senegal's manager “I am certain that one day an African country will win the World Cup." Not my words, but those of Aliou Cisse, Senegal's manager and a man who really does think Senegal are in the running to do something special in this tournament. 3:47PM The last game of the first round How are you doing at Fantasy Football? The first round of games is over and if you're like me, you only have a few substitutions left to make. In my pre-tournament selection I really thought Senegal would do well here and I'm excited to see how Mane and co get on. There have been some big shocks already - Japan earlier was another! - but we're noticing some real trends. Most goals seem to come from set pieces and particularly penalties, with our old friends VAR helping out a lot. Correct decisions often mean more fouls which means more goals. 3:32PM Patrice Evra on Senegal "Don't forget about Koulibaly. Sarri made him improve a lot, he's really cool with the ball and is a massive asset for them." 3:30PM Slaven Bilic likes the look of Senegal The ITV panel are discussing how good Senegal might be. "They have something different," is Bilic's take on it. 3:27PM The World Cup in pictures This is lovely wee gallery to have a look through: Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 3:17PM Jamie Carragher on England last night Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama Our expert columnist has had his say on Raheem Sterling vs Marcus Rashford. 3:14PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 3:02PM Poland players inspecting the pitch There they are. Looking for holes and trying to find any bits of the pitch that will make the ball go super fast. 3:00PM Starting lineups Poland Szczesny, Pazdan, Cionek, Milik, Lewandowski, Krychowiak, Grosicki, Rybus, Blaszczykowski, Zielinski, Pirszczek Senegal KH. Ndiaye; Koulibaly, Gana, Sane, Diouf, Mane, Sabaly, A. Ndiaye, Ismaila, Niang, M. Wague 2:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Spartak Stadium We're in Moscow this afternoon/evening at what is usually Spartak Moscow's stadium. It looks a little something like this: Credit: GETTY IMAGES A bit like a multiplex cinema at a seaside resort. 2:43PM Senegal fans! Credit: TASS This is the first Senegal strip or flag I've seen in any of the pre-match build up photographs. Love that Senegal kit. 2:34PM What to expect from today Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Poland and Senegal's first match of the 2018 World Cup! It's a tough one to call and both teams might fancy their chances of getting all three points today - both have some really talented players and are capable of causing damage! Poland's best ever performance at the World Cup was in 1986 when they reached the semi-final: World Cup record: Poland Robert Lewandowski is by far their best player and at 29, is at peak age for a striker. This will surely be his last World Cup as one of the planet's greatest forwards though and Poland must ensure they give him enough ammunition to get every ounce of attacking talent squeezed out of him That's not to say Poland aren't decent elsewhere. Wijciech Szczesny has turned into an excellent goalkeeper, Kamil Glik won Ligue 1 with Monaco not long ago and Arkadiusz Milik has high potential. He currently plays for Napoli and big things are expected. World Cup record: Senegal Senegal's history in the competition isn't quite as impressive and aside from that brief 2002 foray to the quarter-finals, they haven't been anywhere near it. There are some great players in the current side though - Kalidou Koulibaly is a great defender, Idrissa Gueye is like a lesser-known N'Golo Kante and you might be rather familiar with Sadio Mane. There's a lot of creativity, some midfield steel and a lot of pace in this team but Poland will be aware of it. I'd imagine Poland will look to contain the game, attack down the wings and hook crosses in for Lewandowski but will defend deep and deny space for the likes of Mane and Keita Balde to exploit on the counter. Team news will be with us very shortly so make sure you stick around to get all the updates, buildup and analysis you could possibly need. And as if this game wasn't already interesting, at the moment it looks like the unfancied Japan are about to do a number on Colombia! They're winning 2-1 with a man advantage just now - this could flip the outcome of the group.
The Senegalese players and fans were celebrating with all the gusto that you might expect for one of the greatest results in their history but it was the contrast with their manager, Aliou Cisse, which felt most significant. He simply strolled towards the beaten Poland manager Adam Nawalka and offered his hand, before calmly heading towards the tunnel in the most business-like of ways. Yes, he did reappear a few moments later to acknowledge, with a tap towards his heart, those Senegalese fans who were joyously dancing in the aisles but the overall message was clear. In Cisse’s mind, this was no great surprise and he is planning for Senegal’s World Cup to be about much more than simply becoming the first African team to win so far this summer in Russia following defeats already for Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Tunisia. “We managed to control the game tactically and emotionally - that is very important,” said Cisse. “We are not too euphoric; we have highs, lows and we are not going to jump up and down. We need to stay humble.” Such measured leadership should not be mistaken for a lack of emotion. Cisse broke down in front of his squad earlier in the week, such was the importance for him of again leading his country on world football’s biggest stage after he had previously been the captain when they reached the 2002 quarter-final. The only black manager in the tournament, he is also continuing to serve as a wonderful example to other emerging African coaches. “Senegal are proud to represent the whole continent,” he said. Good planning, tactical discipline, the presence of Sadio Mane and two fairly freakish goals ultimately settled this for Senegal. Senegal coach Aliou Cisse played in the country's 2002 World Cup team, where they reached the quarter-finals Credit: AP The first deflected off both Michal Pazdam and Thiago Cionek before going in, while the second was controversially gifted to Mbaye Niang. The Senegal striker had left the pitch for treatment and was then waved on by the fourth official just as Grzegorz Krychowiak hooked a ball back to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Niang sprinted on from the side of the pitch and reached the ball ahead of Szczesny, who had left his goal in an attempt to negate the danger, before tapping the ball into an empty net. Niang later stressed that the need for treatment had been genuine and his intention innocent but it had clearly caught Poland unaware. “Wojciech tried to save the situation,” said Nawalka. “We were very surprised. The players thought a substitute was coming on and that is why there was a big misunderstanding.” On the very same pitch as Lionel Messi so struggled against Iceland to make a decisive contribution, Mane had earlier been influential. He started on the left but, while Messi played just about the entire 90 minutes on Saturday in the area between Iceland’s midfield and defence, the Liverpool winger really magnified his own threat with his movement. There were several eye-catching passes and dribbles but it was his work off the ball that was just as impressive, especially once Poland seized control of possession during the second half. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players After Robert Lewandowski had forced a good save of Khadim N’Diaye with a free-kick, an excellent header by Krychowiak did briefly give Poland some hope. Nawalka, though, would make no attempt to hide the earlier deficiencies and effectively singled out the entire midfield for criticism. “There have been many bad elements,” he said. “The wingers didn’t do a good job and, in the centre, we didn’t do well either. Two goals following our mistakes was something we were very unhappy with. In the first half we did not play. The second half was better but too little.” World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 6:24PM Some stats for you Senegal have won 50% of their World Cup matches (3/6), the best win rate of any African nation in the competition. All three of Senegal’s World Cup wins have been against European nations (France, Sweden and Poland). Poland have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986. Poland have lost seven of their last nine World Cup matches (W2), failing to score in six of those losses. Poland are the first nation to make two errors leading to a goal in a single World Cup match so far in 2018. 6:03PM Goal controversy Slaven Bilic: "For me the referee makes a mistake, Krychowiak makes a mistake, Bednarek makes a mistake". Henrik Larsson: "I think the referee's read it very poorly there. Although the ball is in Poland's control, Bednarek doesn't see what's happening, Szczesny does but he sees it too late." 6:01PM Patrice Evra delighted I'm happy! Thank you to all the Senegal players, nobody expects them to win, no other African team has won. They played for the pride, we have to congratulate the manager, it's a good day. 5:59PM Next up The last game of today is Russia vs Egypt! Will Mo Salah make a big appearance? Will home support drive Russia onto another blockbusting performance? You can follow all the action with Alan Tyers in our liveblog here. 5:56PM Krychowiak's goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's a great photo! You can see Krychowiak beating the centre-backs to the ball. 5:54PM FULL TIME That's it! Senegal deserved the points and put on a superb performance here. They attacked with pace and purpose, created chances, coutner-attacked well and were really well drilled in defence. Poland, by way of comparison, offered hardly anything of note and were well beaten. 5:53PM 90 mins +4 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Do Poland have anything left in them? They're running out of time. But it's Senegal who are close scoring as Mane has a header in space inside the box! He cushions a header back across goal and the chance is gone, Poland get it up the pitch and are looking to get the ball into the box now. It's way more direct and now they're causing Senegal problems. 5:51PM 90 mins +2 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 The crowd are getting excited! Krychowiak is trying to win space to shoot in the box, waits, waits, waits... wins a corner. Up come the big lads... but it's a great claim by the goalkeeper. He plucks the ball out of the air and then humps the ball a mile down the pitch. 5:50PM 90 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Mane turns Cionek inside out on the left wing and earns himself a corner. Great play. It's swung in... but the referee has spotted a foul in the box and it's a free-kick. 5:48PM 88 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Well this is a lot better now. The crowd is alive, Poland are getting everyone forward. "Just get it in the box!" says an exasperated McCoist. "That's how you got your goal!" he offers, as Poland keep up the short passing. 5:46PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! POLAND ARE BACK IN IT! Poland 1 - 2 Senegal (Grzegorz Krychowiak, 86 min) A free-kick from distance is crossed into the box and Krychowiak jumps to power the header past the goalkeeper! But the VAR is checking for offside. It must be a goal... The goal stands! Brilliant header and free-kick from Poland. 5:45PM 85 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 The VAR are checking this decision! It could be a penalty... but VAR say no. Oooooh that would have been a story. 5:44PM 84 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Final sub for Poland. Piszczek off, Bereszynski on. Sarr attacks the right wing, is tackled and stays down... so Poland get the ball up the other end of the pitch. Sarr stays down for ages with a mysterious injury and the referee stops the game... but it turns out, miraculously, that Sarr is fine. The referee gestures from 50 yards for him to get up. He does.... and SARR IS IN! He's gone down in the penalty area and this could be a foul! The Poland players are FURIOUS with him! 5:42PM 82 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Possession: Poland vs Senegal Whenever Senegal get the ball they move it quickly with purpose. When they lose it they drop back and defend in numbers, ready to counter attack. There's nothing on show that suggests Poland are even bothered about the score staying like this. 5:40PM 80 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 "Just do something different to try and change the game!" McCoist says. Poland put a cross in from wide left which Kownacki heads into the ground. The atmosphere is fairly calm... but Poland are 10 minutes away from a big defeat! Where's the urgency? 5:38PM 78 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: FIFA Ally McCoist's getting wound up by the lack of adventure being shown by Poland. The fans are getting on their backs too. That makes a change from the general sound of apathy. You can actually hear it. 5:36PM 76 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Poland chip hopeful balls forward and Senegal have absolutely no problem dealing with it. Where is the imagination in this Poland team? 5:34PM 74 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Kownacki on, Milik off. He sprints over to the subs bench. 5:32PM 72 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 MILIK! That's very close. He makes a run to the near post to attack a cross from wide right but pokes it wide of the goal. Better from Poland. The game's a bit scrappy now. Gueye is booked for a late one on Krychowiak, both teams are swapping possession around the halfway line. Still Senegal look the more confident and hungry of the two. 5:29PM 70 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES And this is Krychowiak's pass which led to the goal. Poland are horrible here today. No invention, no speed, no tempo to the passes - Senegal have got their number. 5:27PM 68 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the moment Niang poked the ball beyond Szczesny for his goal. 5:26PM 66 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Great control by Sabaly. He wants the ball more than Piszczcek and steals it from him in the air, sprinting down the left wing until he hits a dead end. Senegal sitting back in a deeper shape now waiting to counter-attack Poland, who have to get more men forward now if they want to score. 5:23PM 63 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Diouf is subbed for Ndoye. Poland are raging about that goal because Niang had just come back on the pitch are leaving because he was 'injured'. It's a defensive error though - no point in blaming anyone but themselves for that error. 5:20PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! IT'S 2-0! OUT OF NOWHERE! Poland 0 - 2 Senegal (M'Baye Niang, 60 min) Krychowiak passes back to the goalkeeper but it's awful! Niang chases, Szczesny comes flying off his line way too early and the centre-back doesn't intercept.... and Niang is in! He pokes it past the goalie and then taps into an empty net! That's his first ever international goal! 5:20PM 60 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Niang goes down after contesting a header but Poland play on. Diouf is furious about it and goes charging into Krychowiak, fouling him to stop the game. Just for a second it looks like things might bubble over but heads cool as the referee calms them down. Incidentally, Niang is absolutely fine. 5:18PM 58 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland attack down the left and cross to the back post and Piszcek arrives! His effort is poor. "He didn't believe it," says McCoist as we watch the replay of that one. Poor from the Poland right-back. Miss: Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Lukasz Piszczek, 56 min) 5:15PM 56 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland vs Senegal When the average positions stats look like that it helps explain why a game might not be captivating. It's been exciting in flashes but a lot of the game has been played in midfield. 5:14PM 54 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 A quick attack down the left wing for Senegal gets Sabaly in at goal. He pulls the ball back across the box but Mane can't turn it at goal and his shot is blocked. Credit: AP Senegal have the ball in the final third, Mane switches play, the cross is whipped in from wide right and a striker swings a foot at it! He's missed the ball! If that had connected it could well have flown into the back of the net. 5:11PM 52 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Lewandowski takes the free-kick... and it's a strong save by N'Diaye at the far post. Poland have upped the tempo now and look much better than they were in the first half. 5:09PM 50 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland might have changed to 3-5-1-1 for this half. The three centre-backs should be able to nullify the Senegal front two, and that helps wing-backs get higher up the pitch to lend service to Lewandowski. Great play by Lewandowski! He steals the ball at half way, breaks away and Sane brings him down before he gets to the box. It's a clear booking and now Poland have a great free-kick opportunity. 5:07PM 48 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That's a really bad start for the half for Bednarek. His head has collided with the body of a Senegal forward and he might have jarred his neck... or at least taking a whack to the jaw. He's up and back ready to play though. 5:05PM KICK OFF 2 And we're back! Substitution for Poland though. Blaszczykowski hasn't made it out for the second half and Bednarek has replaced him. 5:03PM Gueye's goal / Cionek's own goal Credit: REUTERS Give it to the attacking player I say. Without the shot there wouldn't have been a goal! 4:59PM Bilic is great chat today "4-4-2 is back in business - Atletico, Monaco - but then at least you have one of the wingers if not both midfielders who go inside and the full-backs doing that (flying high up the wing) but none of the teams are doing that. It's two vs two." "It's easy to read," says Henrik Larsson. 4:57PM Slaven Bilic on the match "It's easy to explain why this is a boring game. Both teams play the same system so they cancel each other out. So in this kind of game a goal comes from a mistake or transition, it's like a mirror. The only players changing positions are Niang and Mane, it's very predictable." 4:55PM No shots on target by either side Poland vs Senegal shots on goal 4:49PM HALF TIME A deserved lead for Senegal and there is work to do for Poland here. They've been outclassed and need to bring a lot more to the table if they're going to get anything out of this. Average touch positions (45 + 1 min) 4:46PM 44 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland look a little pedestrian here. Credit: AFP Senegal in control of possession, taking their time, winning aerial duels, following up second balls with urgency and keeping cool. 4:44PM 42 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Sarr speeds past Rybus like a shooting star and wins a corner. It's curled out, to the six yard box and SANE IS THERE! Oh that's a bad miss! The cross has hit the penalty area and the defender has headed down into the ground and bounced the ball over the bar. That should be 2-0. 4:42PM 40 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That goal's going to count as an own goal apparently because Gueye's shot was heading wide. That sucks. Senegal are really impressive here, I wonder if Poland underestimated them a little bit. They're playing with a lot of energy and freedom but look really well drilled defensively and Poland can't get near them. 4:39PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! GUEYE HAS SCORED! Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Idrissa Gueye, 37 min) Great attack by Senegal but Poland's defending is dreadful here! Mane looks like he's going to hit it, passes it to his right and Gueye has space. He lines up the shot, fires it low and it takes a BIG deflection off Cionek and wrong-foots the goalkeeper. Senegal have the lead! 4:38PM 36 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Blaszczkowski is struggling a little bit after riding a tackle on the edge of the Senegal box but appears to be OK for now. 4:36PM 34 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Sarr controls a long switched pas son his chest beautifully, runs down the right and crosses in low... but a defender stabs it away. Senegal keep up the pressure, the ball comes in from the right again and Diouf attacks! But he can't get enough on his header, the centre-backs clear their lines and there was an offside in the buildup anyway. 4:34PM 32 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Nothing too much happening at the moment. The ball is mostly at halfway with no particular team really in control of it. Both looking to attack but losing the ball too early to do anything with it. 4:32PM 30 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Rybus runs in behind the Senegal back line but the goalkeeper comes out to claim before it becomes a problem. 4:30PM 28 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal probe the final third, keep up the high press but Poland go past it really easily and the break should be on! But as they try to come out of their own half it becomes apparent that absolutely nobody is high enough up the pitch to pass to and Senegal easily absorb the counter. 4:27PM 26 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 You can see the different approaches in this graphics: Possession: Poland vs Senegal Poland keeping more of the ball but doing it in safer positions. Senegal a little more direct and attacking the wings. Poland vs Senegal 4:25PM 24 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Credit: AFP Must be an awful pain making sure these guys are always standing in the right order. Lewandowski has tried a hopeful attempt at a volley, while off balance, from 20 yards but puts it harmlessly behind. 4:24PM 23 mins -Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal are holding their defensive shape (4-4-2) well here to deny Poland space to pass into. Poland are doing exactly the same thing, mind. 4:22PM 21 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland get up the pitch and look to have a decent chance to get the ball in the box here. It's chipped in, Milik throws himself at it and heads over. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Kamil Grosicki, 20 min) 4:21PM 19 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 All of a sudden Senegal are in! It's another quick attack, they dribble past players before making a forward pass but the shot inside the box is dragged wide. 4:18PM 16 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland attack quickly and win a corner but Senegal defend their box well and get it away, then win a throw. Senegal wait at half way to steal the ball and Sarr then goes on a dribble into the area, falls under close attention and makes an ambitious attempt at claiming a penalty. Never ever. 4:15PM 14 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Krychowiak fouls one player then lunges into another and has been booked for the first infringement. It was like he was determined to get booked there! Senegal have a free-kick about 30 yards - probably too far to shoot - but it looks like they're considering it. Sane steps up... and that's awful. He tries a knuckleball effort off the side of his foot but basically passes it out for a goal kick. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Salif Sané, 13 min) 4:13PM 11 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland are a 4-4-1-1 at the moment with Krychowiak doing a man-marking job on Mane whenever Senegal get forward on the ball. Mane puts in a great wee pass to the box but Cionek reads it well and shields until the goalkeeper can claim. 4:10PM 9 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 McCoist has pointed out the strategy at set pieces seems to be that Senegal put all their attacking players in the same position so that when they split, it's really difficult to pick up a man and stop them getting a head on any crosses into the box. Credit: FIFA Senegal have started well here. Poland seem measured and patient whereas Senegal are direct and taking the game to them. 4:08PM 7 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 According to Ally McCoist on co-comms, Senegal are heavily outnumbered in the crowd. "There are little pockets of fans but that's it" he says. Senegal win a corner, the centre-backs come forward for it. Niang prepares to take the kick... but it's cleared at the near post. 4:07PM 5 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland now keeping the ball and working forward well. Senegal have to be alert to defend as the ball is moved into the box but win possession and again come out from the back. 4:04PM 2 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal drop deep to defend a Poland attack but break into an attacking shape really quickly... then calmly pass their way out from the back. 4:02PM KICK OFF And we're off! 4:01PM National anthems done Credit: FIFA Nothing overly emotional in the national anthems and now, after ANOTHER betting advert, it's time for lovely fitba. I can't help but feel this lady is being rather presumptive. She could look quite the fool at the final whistle if Senegal turn up here today. Credit: OFFSIDE 3:55PM Here come the players 3:50PM Senegal's manager “I am certain that one day an African country will win the World Cup." Not my words, but those of Aliou Cisse, Senegal's manager and a man who really does think Senegal are in the running to do something special in this tournament. 3:47PM The last game of the first round How are you doing at Fantasy Football? The first round of games is over and if you're like me, you only have a few substitutions left to make. In my pre-tournament selection I really thought Senegal would do well here and I'm excited to see how Mane and co get on. There have been some big shocks already - Japan earlier was another! - but we're noticing some real trends. Most goals seem to come from set pieces and particularly penalties, with our old friends VAR helping out a lot. Correct decisions often mean more fouls which means more goals. 3:32PM Patrice Evra on Senegal "Don't forget about Koulibaly. Sarri made him improve a lot, he's really cool with the ball and is a massive asset for them." 3:30PM Slaven Bilic likes the look of Senegal The ITV panel are discussing how good Senegal might be. "They have something different," is Bilic's take on it. 3:27PM The World Cup in pictures This is lovely wee gallery to have a look through: Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 3:17PM Jamie Carragher on England last night Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama Our expert columnist has had his say on Raheem Sterling vs Marcus Rashford. 3:14PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 3:02PM Poland players inspecting the pitch There they are. Looking for holes and trying to find any bits of the pitch that will make the ball go super fast. 3:00PM Starting lineups Poland Szczesny, Pazdan, Cionek, Milik, Lewandowski, Krychowiak, Grosicki, Rybus, Blaszczykowski, Zielinski, Pirszczek Senegal KH. Ndiaye; Koulibaly, Gana, Sane, Diouf, Mane, Sabaly, A. Ndiaye, Ismaila, Niang, M. Wague 2:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Spartak Stadium We're in Moscow this afternoon/evening at what is usually Spartak Moscow's stadium. It looks a little something like this: Credit: GETTY IMAGES A bit like a multiplex cinema at a seaside resort. 2:43PM Senegal fans! Credit: TASS This is the first Senegal strip or flag I've seen in any of the pre-match build up photographs. Love that Senegal kit. 2:34PM What to expect from today Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Poland and Senegal's first match of the 2018 World Cup! It's a tough one to call and both teams might fancy their chances of getting all three points today - both have some really talented players and are capable of causing damage! Poland's best ever performance at the World Cup was in 1986 when they reached the semi-final: World Cup record: Poland Robert Lewandowski is by far their best player and at 29, is at peak age for a striker. This will surely be his last World Cup as one of the planet's greatest forwards though and Poland must ensure they give him enough ammunition to get every ounce of attacking talent squeezed out of him That's not to say Poland aren't decent elsewhere. Wijciech Szczesny has turned into an excellent goalkeeper, Kamil Glik won Ligue 1 with Monaco not long ago and Arkadiusz Milik has high potential. He currently plays for Napoli and big things are expected. World Cup record: Senegal Senegal's history in the competition isn't quite as impressive and aside from that brief 2002 foray to the quarter-finals, they haven't been anywhere near it. There are some great players in the current side though - Kalidou Koulibaly is a great defender, Idrissa Gueye is like a lesser-known N'Golo Kante and you might be rather familiar with Sadio Mane. There's a lot of creativity, some midfield steel and a lot of pace in this team but Poland will be aware of it. I'd imagine Poland will look to contain the game, attack down the wings and hook crosses in for Lewandowski but will defend deep and deny space for the likes of Mane and Keita Balde to exploit on the counter. Team news will be with us very shortly so make sure you stick around to get all the updates, buildup and analysis you could possibly need. And as if this game wasn't already interesting, at the moment it looks like the unfancied Japan are about to do a number on Colombia! They're winning 2-1 with a man advantage just now - this could flip the outcome of the group.
Senegal survive late Poland onslaught to throw Group H wide open
The Senegalese players and fans were celebrating with all the gusto that you might expect for one of the greatest results in their history but it was the contrast with their manager, Aliou Cisse, which felt most significant. He simply strolled towards the beaten Poland manager Adam Nawalka and offered his hand, before calmly heading towards the tunnel in the most business-like of ways. Yes, he did reappear a few moments later to acknowledge, with a tap towards his heart, those Senegalese fans who were joyously dancing in the aisles but the overall message was clear. In Cisse’s mind, this was no great surprise and he is planning for Senegal’s World Cup to be about much more than simply becoming the first African team to win so far this summer in Russia following defeats already for Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Tunisia. “We managed to control the game tactically and emotionally - that is very important,” said Cisse. “We are not too euphoric; we have highs, lows and we are not going to jump up and down. We need to stay humble.” Such measured leadership should not be mistaken for a lack of emotion. Cisse broke down in front of his squad earlier in the week, such was the importance for him of again leading his country on world football’s biggest stage after he had previously been the captain when they reached the 2002 quarter-final. The only black manager in the tournament, he is also continuing to serve as a wonderful example to other emerging African coaches. “Senegal are proud to represent the whole continent,” he said. Good planning, tactical discipline, the presence of Sadio Mane and two fairly freakish goals ultimately settled this for Senegal. Senegal coach Aliou Cisse played in the country's 2002 World Cup team, where they reached the quarter-finals Credit: AP The first deflected off both Michal Pazdam and Thiago Cionek before going in, while the second was controversially gifted to Mbaye Niang. The Senegal striker had left the pitch for treatment and was then waved on by the fourth official just as Grzegorz Krychowiak hooked a ball back to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Niang sprinted on from the side of the pitch and reached the ball ahead of Szczesny, who had left his goal in an attempt to negate the danger, before tapping the ball into an empty net. Niang later stressed that the need for treatment had been genuine and his intention innocent but it had clearly caught Poland unaware. “Wojciech tried to save the situation,” said Nawalka. “We were very surprised. The players thought a substitute was coming on and that is why there was a big misunderstanding.” On the very same pitch as Lionel Messi so struggled against Iceland to make a decisive contribution, Mane had earlier been influential. He started on the left but, while Messi played just about the entire 90 minutes on Saturday in the area between Iceland’s midfield and defence, the Liverpool winger really magnified his own threat with his movement. There were several eye-catching passes and dribbles but it was his work off the ball that was just as impressive, especially once Poland seized control of possession during the second half. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players After Robert Lewandowski had forced a good save of Khadim N’Diaye with a free-kick, an excellent header by Krychowiak did briefly give Poland some hope. Nawalka, though, would make no attempt to hide the earlier deficiencies and effectively singled out the entire midfield for criticism. “There have been many bad elements,” he said. “The wingers didn’t do a good job and, in the centre, we didn’t do well either. Two goals following our mistakes was something we were very unhappy with. In the first half we did not play. The second half was better but too little.” World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 6:24PM Some stats for you Senegal have won 50% of their World Cup matches (3/6), the best win rate of any African nation in the competition. All three of Senegal’s World Cup wins have been against European nations (France, Sweden and Poland). Poland have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986. Poland have lost seven of their last nine World Cup matches (W2), failing to score in six of those losses. Poland are the first nation to make two errors leading to a goal in a single World Cup match so far in 2018. 6:03PM Goal controversy Slaven Bilic: "For me the referee makes a mistake, Krychowiak makes a mistake, Bednarek makes a mistake". Henrik Larsson: "I think the referee's read it very poorly there. Although the ball is in Poland's control, Bednarek doesn't see what's happening, Szczesny does but he sees it too late." 6:01PM Patrice Evra delighted I'm happy! Thank you to all the Senegal players, nobody expects them to win, no other African team has won. They played for the pride, we have to congratulate the manager, it's a good day. 5:59PM Next up The last game of today is Russia vs Egypt! Will Mo Salah make a big appearance? Will home support drive Russia onto another blockbusting performance? You can follow all the action with Alan Tyers in our liveblog here. 5:56PM Krychowiak's goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's a great photo! You can see Krychowiak beating the centre-backs to the ball. 5:54PM FULL TIME That's it! Senegal deserved the points and put on a superb performance here. They attacked with pace and purpose, created chances, coutner-attacked well and were really well drilled in defence. Poland, by way of comparison, offered hardly anything of note and were well beaten. 5:53PM 90 mins +4 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Do Poland have anything left in them? They're running out of time. But it's Senegal who are close scoring as Mane has a header in space inside the box! He cushions a header back across goal and the chance is gone, Poland get it up the pitch and are looking to get the ball into the box now. It's way more direct and now they're causing Senegal problems. 5:51PM 90 mins +2 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 The crowd are getting excited! Krychowiak is trying to win space to shoot in the box, waits, waits, waits... wins a corner. Up come the big lads... but it's a great claim by the goalkeeper. He plucks the ball out of the air and then humps the ball a mile down the pitch. 5:50PM 90 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Mane turns Cionek inside out on the left wing and earns himself a corner. Great play. It's swung in... but the referee has spotted a foul in the box and it's a free-kick. 5:48PM 88 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Well this is a lot better now. The crowd is alive, Poland are getting everyone forward. "Just get it in the box!" says an exasperated McCoist. "That's how you got your goal!" he offers, as Poland keep up the short passing. 5:46PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! POLAND ARE BACK IN IT! Poland 1 - 2 Senegal (Grzegorz Krychowiak, 86 min) A free-kick from distance is crossed into the box and Krychowiak jumps to power the header past the goalkeeper! But the VAR is checking for offside. It must be a goal... The goal stands! Brilliant header and free-kick from Poland. 5:45PM 85 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 The VAR are checking this decision! It could be a penalty... but VAR say no. Oooooh that would have been a story. 5:44PM 84 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Final sub for Poland. Piszczek off, Bereszynski on. Sarr attacks the right wing, is tackled and stays down... so Poland get the ball up the other end of the pitch. Sarr stays down for ages with a mysterious injury and the referee stops the game... but it turns out, miraculously, that Sarr is fine. The referee gestures from 50 yards for him to get up. He does.... and SARR IS IN! He's gone down in the penalty area and this could be a foul! The Poland players are FURIOUS with him! 5:42PM 82 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Possession: Poland vs Senegal Whenever Senegal get the ball they move it quickly with purpose. When they lose it they drop back and defend in numbers, ready to counter attack. There's nothing on show that suggests Poland are even bothered about the score staying like this. 5:40PM 80 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 "Just do something different to try and change the game!" McCoist says. Poland put a cross in from wide left which Kownacki heads into the ground. The atmosphere is fairly calm... but Poland are 10 minutes away from a big defeat! Where's the urgency? 5:38PM 78 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: FIFA Ally McCoist's getting wound up by the lack of adventure being shown by Poland. The fans are getting on their backs too. That makes a change from the general sound of apathy. You can actually hear it. 5:36PM 76 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Poland chip hopeful balls forward and Senegal have absolutely no problem dealing with it. Where is the imagination in this Poland team? 5:34PM 74 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Kownacki on, Milik off. He sprints over to the subs bench. 5:32PM 72 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 MILIK! That's very close. He makes a run to the near post to attack a cross from wide right but pokes it wide of the goal. Better from Poland. The game's a bit scrappy now. Gueye is booked for a late one on Krychowiak, both teams are swapping possession around the halfway line. Still Senegal look the more confident and hungry of the two. 5:29PM 70 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES And this is Krychowiak's pass which led to the goal. Poland are horrible here today. No invention, no speed, no tempo to the passes - Senegal have got their number. 5:27PM 68 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the moment Niang poked the ball beyond Szczesny for his goal. 5:26PM 66 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Great control by Sabaly. He wants the ball more than Piszczcek and steals it from him in the air, sprinting down the left wing until he hits a dead end. Senegal sitting back in a deeper shape now waiting to counter-attack Poland, who have to get more men forward now if they want to score. 5:23PM 63 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Diouf is subbed for Ndoye. Poland are raging about that goal because Niang had just come back on the pitch are leaving because he was 'injured'. It's a defensive error though - no point in blaming anyone but themselves for that error. 5:20PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! IT'S 2-0! OUT OF NOWHERE! Poland 0 - 2 Senegal (M'Baye Niang, 60 min) Krychowiak passes back to the goalkeeper but it's awful! Niang chases, Szczesny comes flying off his line way too early and the centre-back doesn't intercept.... and Niang is in! He pokes it past the goalie and then taps into an empty net! That's his first ever international goal! 5:20PM 60 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Niang goes down after contesting a header but Poland play on. Diouf is furious about it and goes charging into Krychowiak, fouling him to stop the game. Just for a second it looks like things might bubble over but heads cool as the referee calms them down. Incidentally, Niang is absolutely fine. 5:18PM 58 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland attack down the left and cross to the back post and Piszcek arrives! His effort is poor. "He didn't believe it," says McCoist as we watch the replay of that one. Poor from the Poland right-back. Miss: Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Lukasz Piszczek, 56 min) 5:15PM 56 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland vs Senegal When the average positions stats look like that it helps explain why a game might not be captivating. It's been exciting in flashes but a lot of the game has been played in midfield. 5:14PM 54 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 A quick attack down the left wing for Senegal gets Sabaly in at goal. He pulls the ball back across the box but Mane can't turn it at goal and his shot is blocked. Credit: AP Senegal have the ball in the final third, Mane switches play, the cross is whipped in from wide right and a striker swings a foot at it! He's missed the ball! If that had connected it could well have flown into the back of the net. 5:11PM 52 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Lewandowski takes the free-kick... and it's a strong save by N'Diaye at the far post. Poland have upped the tempo now and look much better than they were in the first half. 5:09PM 50 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland might have changed to 3-5-1-1 for this half. The three centre-backs should be able to nullify the Senegal front two, and that helps wing-backs get higher up the pitch to lend service to Lewandowski. Great play by Lewandowski! He steals the ball at half way, breaks away and Sane brings him down before he gets to the box. It's a clear booking and now Poland have a great free-kick opportunity. 5:07PM 48 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That's a really bad start for the half for Bednarek. His head has collided with the body of a Senegal forward and he might have jarred his neck... or at least taking a whack to the jaw. He's up and back ready to play though. 5:05PM KICK OFF 2 And we're back! Substitution for Poland though. Blaszczykowski hasn't made it out for the second half and Bednarek has replaced him. 5:03PM Gueye's goal / Cionek's own goal Credit: REUTERS Give it to the attacking player I say. Without the shot there wouldn't have been a goal! 4:59PM Bilic is great chat today "4-4-2 is back in business - Atletico, Monaco - but then at least you have one of the wingers if not both midfielders who go inside and the full-backs doing that (flying high up the wing) but none of the teams are doing that. It's two vs two." "It's easy to read," says Henrik Larsson. 4:57PM Slaven Bilic on the match "It's easy to explain why this is a boring game. Both teams play the same system so they cancel each other out. So in this kind of game a goal comes from a mistake or transition, it's like a mirror. The only players changing positions are Niang and Mane, it's very predictable." 4:55PM No shots on target by either side Poland vs Senegal shots on goal 4:49PM HALF TIME A deserved lead for Senegal and there is work to do for Poland here. They've been outclassed and need to bring a lot more to the table if they're going to get anything out of this. Average touch positions (45 + 1 min) 4:46PM 44 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland look a little pedestrian here. Credit: AFP Senegal in control of possession, taking their time, winning aerial duels, following up second balls with urgency and keeping cool. 4:44PM 42 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Sarr speeds past Rybus like a shooting star and wins a corner. It's curled out, to the six yard box and SANE IS THERE! Oh that's a bad miss! The cross has hit the penalty area and the defender has headed down into the ground and bounced the ball over the bar. That should be 2-0. 4:42PM 40 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That goal's going to count as an own goal apparently because Gueye's shot was heading wide. That sucks. Senegal are really impressive here, I wonder if Poland underestimated them a little bit. They're playing with a lot of energy and freedom but look really well drilled defensively and Poland can't get near them. 4:39PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! GUEYE HAS SCORED! Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Idrissa Gueye, 37 min) Great attack by Senegal but Poland's defending is dreadful here! Mane looks like he's going to hit it, passes it to his right and Gueye has space. He lines up the shot, fires it low and it takes a BIG deflection off Cionek and wrong-foots the goalkeeper. Senegal have the lead! 4:38PM 36 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Blaszczkowski is struggling a little bit after riding a tackle on the edge of the Senegal box but appears to be OK for now. 4:36PM 34 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Sarr controls a long switched pas son his chest beautifully, runs down the right and crosses in low... but a defender stabs it away. Senegal keep up the pressure, the ball comes in from the right again and Diouf attacks! But he can't get enough on his header, the centre-backs clear their lines and there was an offside in the buildup anyway. 4:34PM 32 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Nothing too much happening at the moment. The ball is mostly at halfway with no particular team really in control of it. Both looking to attack but losing the ball too early to do anything with it. 4:32PM 30 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Rybus runs in behind the Senegal back line but the goalkeeper comes out to claim before it becomes a problem. 4:30PM 28 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal probe the final third, keep up the high press but Poland go past it really easily and the break should be on! But as they try to come out of their own half it becomes apparent that absolutely nobody is high enough up the pitch to pass to and Senegal easily absorb the counter. 4:27PM 26 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 You can see the different approaches in this graphics: Possession: Poland vs Senegal Poland keeping more of the ball but doing it in safer positions. Senegal a little more direct and attacking the wings. Poland vs Senegal 4:25PM 24 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Credit: AFP Must be an awful pain making sure these guys are always standing in the right order. Lewandowski has tried a hopeful attempt at a volley, while off balance, from 20 yards but puts it harmlessly behind. 4:24PM 23 mins -Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal are holding their defensive shape (4-4-2) well here to deny Poland space to pass into. Poland are doing exactly the same thing, mind. 4:22PM 21 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland get up the pitch and look to have a decent chance to get the ball in the box here. It's chipped in, Milik throws himself at it and heads over. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Kamil Grosicki, 20 min) 4:21PM 19 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 All of a sudden Senegal are in! It's another quick attack, they dribble past players before making a forward pass but the shot inside the box is dragged wide. 4:18PM 16 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland attack quickly and win a corner but Senegal defend their box well and get it away, then win a throw. Senegal wait at half way to steal the ball and Sarr then goes on a dribble into the area, falls under close attention and makes an ambitious attempt at claiming a penalty. Never ever. 4:15PM 14 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Krychowiak fouls one player then lunges into another and has been booked for the first infringement. It was like he was determined to get booked there! Senegal have a free-kick about 30 yards - probably too far to shoot - but it looks like they're considering it. Sane steps up... and that's awful. He tries a knuckleball effort off the side of his foot but basically passes it out for a goal kick. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Salif Sané, 13 min) 4:13PM 11 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland are a 4-4-1-1 at the moment with Krychowiak doing a man-marking job on Mane whenever Senegal get forward on the ball. Mane puts in a great wee pass to the box but Cionek reads it well and shields until the goalkeeper can claim. 4:10PM 9 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 McCoist has pointed out the strategy at set pieces seems to be that Senegal put all their attacking players in the same position so that when they split, it's really difficult to pick up a man and stop them getting a head on any crosses into the box. Credit: FIFA Senegal have started well here. Poland seem measured and patient whereas Senegal are direct and taking the game to them. 4:08PM 7 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 According to Ally McCoist on co-comms, Senegal are heavily outnumbered in the crowd. "There are little pockets of fans but that's it" he says. Senegal win a corner, the centre-backs come forward for it. Niang prepares to take the kick... but it's cleared at the near post. 4:07PM 5 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland now keeping the ball and working forward well. Senegal have to be alert to defend as the ball is moved into the box but win possession and again come out from the back. 4:04PM 2 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal drop deep to defend a Poland attack but break into an attacking shape really quickly... then calmly pass their way out from the back. 4:02PM KICK OFF And we're off! 4:01PM National anthems done Credit: FIFA Nothing overly emotional in the national anthems and now, after ANOTHER betting advert, it's time for lovely fitba. I can't help but feel this lady is being rather presumptive. She could look quite the fool at the final whistle if Senegal turn up here today. Credit: OFFSIDE 3:55PM Here come the players 3:50PM Senegal's manager “I am certain that one day an African country will win the World Cup." Not my words, but those of Aliou Cisse, Senegal's manager and a man who really does think Senegal are in the running to do something special in this tournament. 3:47PM The last game of the first round How are you doing at Fantasy Football? The first round of games is over and if you're like me, you only have a few substitutions left to make. In my pre-tournament selection I really thought Senegal would do well here and I'm excited to see how Mane and co get on. There have been some big shocks already - Japan earlier was another! - but we're noticing some real trends. Most goals seem to come from set pieces and particularly penalties, with our old friends VAR helping out a lot. Correct decisions often mean more fouls which means more goals. 3:32PM Patrice Evra on Senegal "Don't forget about Koulibaly. Sarri made him improve a lot, he's really cool with the ball and is a massive asset for them." 3:30PM Slaven Bilic likes the look of Senegal The ITV panel are discussing how good Senegal might be. "They have something different," is Bilic's take on it. 3:27PM The World Cup in pictures This is lovely wee gallery to have a look through: Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 3:17PM Jamie Carragher on England last night Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama Our expert columnist has had his say on Raheem Sterling vs Marcus Rashford. 3:14PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 3:02PM Poland players inspecting the pitch There they are. Looking for holes and trying to find any bits of the pitch that will make the ball go super fast. 3:00PM Starting lineups Poland Szczesny, Pazdan, Cionek, Milik, Lewandowski, Krychowiak, Grosicki, Rybus, Blaszczykowski, Zielinski, Pirszczek Senegal KH. Ndiaye; Koulibaly, Gana, Sane, Diouf, Mane, Sabaly, A. Ndiaye, Ismaila, Niang, M. Wague 2:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Spartak Stadium We're in Moscow this afternoon/evening at what is usually Spartak Moscow's stadium. It looks a little something like this: Credit: GETTY IMAGES A bit like a multiplex cinema at a seaside resort. 2:43PM Senegal fans! Credit: TASS This is the first Senegal strip or flag I've seen in any of the pre-match build up photographs. Love that Senegal kit. 2:34PM What to expect from today Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Poland and Senegal's first match of the 2018 World Cup! It's a tough one to call and both teams might fancy their chances of getting all three points today - both have some really talented players and are capable of causing damage! Poland's best ever performance at the World Cup was in 1986 when they reached the semi-final: World Cup record: Poland Robert Lewandowski is by far their best player and at 29, is at peak age for a striker. This will surely be his last World Cup as one of the planet's greatest forwards though and Poland must ensure they give him enough ammunition to get every ounce of attacking talent squeezed out of him That's not to say Poland aren't decent elsewhere. Wijciech Szczesny has turned into an excellent goalkeeper, Kamil Glik won Ligue 1 with Monaco not long ago and Arkadiusz Milik has high potential. He currently plays for Napoli and big things are expected. World Cup record: Senegal Senegal's history in the competition isn't quite as impressive and aside from that brief 2002 foray to the quarter-finals, they haven't been anywhere near it. There are some great players in the current side though - Kalidou Koulibaly is a great defender, Idrissa Gueye is like a lesser-known N'Golo Kante and you might be rather familiar with Sadio Mane. There's a lot of creativity, some midfield steel and a lot of pace in this team but Poland will be aware of it. I'd imagine Poland will look to contain the game, attack down the wings and hook crosses in for Lewandowski but will defend deep and deny space for the likes of Mane and Keita Balde to exploit on the counter. Team news will be with us very shortly so make sure you stick around to get all the updates, buildup and analysis you could possibly need. And as if this game wasn't already interesting, at the moment it looks like the unfancied Japan are about to do a number on Colombia! They're winning 2-1 with a man advantage just now - this could flip the outcome of the group.
The Senegalese players and fans were celebrating with all the gusto that you might expect for one of the greatest results in their history but it was the contrast with their manager, Aliou Cisse, which felt most significant. He simply strolled towards the beaten Poland manager Adam Nawalka and offered his hand, before calmly heading towards the tunnel in the most business-like of ways. Yes, he did reappear a few moments later to acknowledge, with a tap towards his heart, those Senegalese fans who were joyously dancing in the aisles but the overall message was clear. In Cisse’s mind, this was no great surprise and he is planning for Senegal’s World Cup to be about much more than simply becoming the first African team to win so far this summer in Russia following defeats already for Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Tunisia. “We managed to control the game tactically and emotionally - that is very important,” said Cisse. “We are not too euphoric; we have highs, lows and we are not going to jump up and down. We need to stay humble.” Such measured leadership should not be mistaken for a lack of emotion. Cisse broke down in front of his squad earlier in the week, such was the importance for him of again leading his country on world football’s biggest stage after he had previously been the captain when they reached the 2002 quarter-final. The only black manager in the tournament, he is also continuing to serve as a wonderful example to other emerging African coaches. “Senegal are proud to represent the whole continent,” he said. Good planning, tactical discipline, the presence of Sadio Mane and two fairly freakish goals ultimately settled this for Senegal. Senegal coach Aliou Cisse played in the country's 2002 World Cup team, where they reached the quarter-finals Credit: AP The first deflected off both Michal Pazdam and Thiago Cionek before going in, while the second was controversially gifted to Mbaye Niang. The Senegal striker had left the pitch for treatment and was then waved on by the fourth official just as Grzegorz Krychowiak hooked a ball back to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Niang sprinted on from the side of the pitch and reached the ball ahead of Szczesny, who had left his goal in an attempt to negate the danger, before tapping the ball into an empty net. Niang later stressed that the need for treatment had been genuine and his intention innocent but it had clearly caught Poland unaware. “Wojciech tried to save the situation,” said Nawalka. “We were very surprised. The players thought a substitute was coming on and that is why there was a big misunderstanding.” On the very same pitch as Lionel Messi so struggled against Iceland to make a decisive contribution, Mane had earlier been influential. He started on the left but, while Messi played just about the entire 90 minutes on Saturday in the area between Iceland’s midfield and defence, the Liverpool winger really magnified his own threat with his movement. There were several eye-catching passes and dribbles but it was his work off the ball that was just as impressive, especially once Poland seized control of possession during the second half. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players After Robert Lewandowski had forced a good save of Khadim N’Diaye with a free-kick, an excellent header by Krychowiak did briefly give Poland some hope. Nawalka, though, would make no attempt to hide the earlier deficiencies and effectively singled out the entire midfield for criticism. “There have been many bad elements,” he said. “The wingers didn’t do a good job and, in the centre, we didn’t do well either. Two goals following our mistakes was something we were very unhappy with. In the first half we did not play. The second half was better but too little.” World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 6:24PM Some stats for you Senegal have won 50% of their World Cup matches (3/6), the best win rate of any African nation in the competition. All three of Senegal’s World Cup wins have been against European nations (France, Sweden and Poland). Poland have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986. Poland have lost seven of their last nine World Cup matches (W2), failing to score in six of those losses. Poland are the first nation to make two errors leading to a goal in a single World Cup match so far in 2018. 6:03PM Goal controversy Slaven Bilic: "For me the referee makes a mistake, Krychowiak makes a mistake, Bednarek makes a mistake". Henrik Larsson: "I think the referee's read it very poorly there. Although the ball is in Poland's control, Bednarek doesn't see what's happening, Szczesny does but he sees it too late." 6:01PM Patrice Evra delighted I'm happy! Thank you to all the Senegal players, nobody expects them to win, no other African team has won. They played for the pride, we have to congratulate the manager, it's a good day. 5:59PM Next up The last game of today is Russia vs Egypt! Will Mo Salah make a big appearance? Will home support drive Russia onto another blockbusting performance? You can follow all the action with Alan Tyers in our liveblog here. 5:56PM Krychowiak's goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's a great photo! You can see Krychowiak beating the centre-backs to the ball. 5:54PM FULL TIME That's it! Senegal deserved the points and put on a superb performance here. They attacked with pace and purpose, created chances, coutner-attacked well and were really well drilled in defence. Poland, by way of comparison, offered hardly anything of note and were well beaten. 5:53PM 90 mins +4 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Do Poland have anything left in them? They're running out of time. But it's Senegal who are close scoring as Mane has a header in space inside the box! He cushions a header back across goal and the chance is gone, Poland get it up the pitch and are looking to get the ball into the box now. It's way more direct and now they're causing Senegal problems. 5:51PM 90 mins +2 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 The crowd are getting excited! Krychowiak is trying to win space to shoot in the box, waits, waits, waits... wins a corner. Up come the big lads... but it's a great claim by the goalkeeper. He plucks the ball out of the air and then humps the ball a mile down the pitch. 5:50PM 90 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Mane turns Cionek inside out on the left wing and earns himself a corner. Great play. It's swung in... but the referee has spotted a foul in the box and it's a free-kick. 5:48PM 88 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Well this is a lot better now. The crowd is alive, Poland are getting everyone forward. "Just get it in the box!" says an exasperated McCoist. "That's how you got your goal!" he offers, as Poland keep up the short passing. 5:46PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! POLAND ARE BACK IN IT! Poland 1 - 2 Senegal (Grzegorz Krychowiak, 86 min) A free-kick from distance is crossed into the box and Krychowiak jumps to power the header past the goalkeeper! But the VAR is checking for offside. It must be a goal... The goal stands! Brilliant header and free-kick from Poland. 5:45PM 85 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 The VAR are checking this decision! It could be a penalty... but VAR say no. Oooooh that would have been a story. 5:44PM 84 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Final sub for Poland. Piszczek off, Bereszynski on. Sarr attacks the right wing, is tackled and stays down... so Poland get the ball up the other end of the pitch. Sarr stays down for ages with a mysterious injury and the referee stops the game... but it turns out, miraculously, that Sarr is fine. The referee gestures from 50 yards for him to get up. He does.... and SARR IS IN! He's gone down in the penalty area and this could be a foul! The Poland players are FURIOUS with him! 5:42PM 82 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Possession: Poland vs Senegal Whenever Senegal get the ball they move it quickly with purpose. When they lose it they drop back and defend in numbers, ready to counter attack. There's nothing on show that suggests Poland are even bothered about the score staying like this. 5:40PM 80 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 "Just do something different to try and change the game!" McCoist says. Poland put a cross in from wide left which Kownacki heads into the ground. The atmosphere is fairly calm... but Poland are 10 minutes away from a big defeat! Where's the urgency? 5:38PM 78 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: FIFA Ally McCoist's getting wound up by the lack of adventure being shown by Poland. The fans are getting on their backs too. That makes a change from the general sound of apathy. You can actually hear it. 5:36PM 76 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Poland chip hopeful balls forward and Senegal have absolutely no problem dealing with it. Where is the imagination in this Poland team? 5:34PM 74 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Kownacki on, Milik off. He sprints over to the subs bench. 5:32PM 72 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 MILIK! That's very close. He makes a run to the near post to attack a cross from wide right but pokes it wide of the goal. Better from Poland. The game's a bit scrappy now. Gueye is booked for a late one on Krychowiak, both teams are swapping possession around the halfway line. Still Senegal look the more confident and hungry of the two. 5:29PM 70 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES And this is Krychowiak's pass which led to the goal. Poland are horrible here today. No invention, no speed, no tempo to the passes - Senegal have got their number. 5:27PM 68 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the moment Niang poked the ball beyond Szczesny for his goal. 5:26PM 66 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Great control by Sabaly. He wants the ball more than Piszczcek and steals it from him in the air, sprinting down the left wing until he hits a dead end. Senegal sitting back in a deeper shape now waiting to counter-attack Poland, who have to get more men forward now if they want to score. 5:23PM 63 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Diouf is subbed for Ndoye. Poland are raging about that goal because Niang had just come back on the pitch are leaving because he was 'injured'. It's a defensive error though - no point in blaming anyone but themselves for that error. 5:20PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! IT'S 2-0! OUT OF NOWHERE! Poland 0 - 2 Senegal (M'Baye Niang, 60 min) Krychowiak passes back to the goalkeeper but it's awful! Niang chases, Szczesny comes flying off his line way too early and the centre-back doesn't intercept.... and Niang is in! He pokes it past the goalie and then taps into an empty net! That's his first ever international goal! 5:20PM 60 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Niang goes down after contesting a header but Poland play on. Diouf is furious about it and goes charging into Krychowiak, fouling him to stop the game. Just for a second it looks like things might bubble over but heads cool as the referee calms them down. Incidentally, Niang is absolutely fine. 5:18PM 58 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland attack down the left and cross to the back post and Piszcek arrives! His effort is poor. "He didn't believe it," says McCoist as we watch the replay of that one. Poor from the Poland right-back. Miss: Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Lukasz Piszczek, 56 min) 5:15PM 56 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland vs Senegal When the average positions stats look like that it helps explain why a game might not be captivating. It's been exciting in flashes but a lot of the game has been played in midfield. 5:14PM 54 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 A quick attack down the left wing for Senegal gets Sabaly in at goal. He pulls the ball back across the box but Mane can't turn it at goal and his shot is blocked. Credit: AP Senegal have the ball in the final third, Mane switches play, the cross is whipped in from wide right and a striker swings a foot at it! He's missed the ball! If that had connected it could well have flown into the back of the net. 5:11PM 52 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Lewandowski takes the free-kick... and it's a strong save by N'Diaye at the far post. Poland have upped the tempo now and look much better than they were in the first half. 5:09PM 50 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland might have changed to 3-5-1-1 for this half. The three centre-backs should be able to nullify the Senegal front two, and that helps wing-backs get higher up the pitch to lend service to Lewandowski. Great play by Lewandowski! He steals the ball at half way, breaks away and Sane brings him down before he gets to the box. It's a clear booking and now Poland have a great free-kick opportunity. 5:07PM 48 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That's a really bad start for the half for Bednarek. His head has collided with the body of a Senegal forward and he might have jarred his neck... or at least taking a whack to the jaw. He's up and back ready to play though. 5:05PM KICK OFF 2 And we're back! Substitution for Poland though. Blaszczykowski hasn't made it out for the second half and Bednarek has replaced him. 5:03PM Gueye's goal / Cionek's own goal Credit: REUTERS Give it to the attacking player I say. Without the shot there wouldn't have been a goal! 4:59PM Bilic is great chat today "4-4-2 is back in business - Atletico, Monaco - but then at least you have one of the wingers if not both midfielders who go inside and the full-backs doing that (flying high up the wing) but none of the teams are doing that. It's two vs two." "It's easy to read," says Henrik Larsson. 4:57PM Slaven Bilic on the match "It's easy to explain why this is a boring game. Both teams play the same system so they cancel each other out. So in this kind of game a goal comes from a mistake or transition, it's like a mirror. The only players changing positions are Niang and Mane, it's very predictable." 4:55PM No shots on target by either side Poland vs Senegal shots on goal 4:49PM HALF TIME A deserved lead for Senegal and there is work to do for Poland here. They've been outclassed and need to bring a lot more to the table if they're going to get anything out of this. Average touch positions (45 + 1 min) 4:46PM 44 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland look a little pedestrian here. Credit: AFP Senegal in control of possession, taking their time, winning aerial duels, following up second balls with urgency and keeping cool. 4:44PM 42 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Sarr speeds past Rybus like a shooting star and wins a corner. It's curled out, to the six yard box and SANE IS THERE! Oh that's a bad miss! The cross has hit the penalty area and the defender has headed down into the ground and bounced the ball over the bar. That should be 2-0. 4:42PM 40 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That goal's going to count as an own goal apparently because Gueye's shot was heading wide. That sucks. Senegal are really impressive here, I wonder if Poland underestimated them a little bit. They're playing with a lot of energy and freedom but look really well drilled defensively and Poland can't get near them. 4:39PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! GUEYE HAS SCORED! Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Idrissa Gueye, 37 min) Great attack by Senegal but Poland's defending is dreadful here! Mane looks like he's going to hit it, passes it to his right and Gueye has space. He lines up the shot, fires it low and it takes a BIG deflection off Cionek and wrong-foots the goalkeeper. Senegal have the lead! 4:38PM 36 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Blaszczkowski is struggling a little bit after riding a tackle on the edge of the Senegal box but appears to be OK for now. 4:36PM 34 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Sarr controls a long switched pas son his chest beautifully, runs down the right and crosses in low... but a defender stabs it away. Senegal keep up the pressure, the ball comes in from the right again and Diouf attacks! But he can't get enough on his header, the centre-backs clear their lines and there was an offside in the buildup anyway. 4:34PM 32 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Nothing too much happening at the moment. The ball is mostly at halfway with no particular team really in control of it. Both looking to attack but losing the ball too early to do anything with it. 4:32PM 30 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Rybus runs in behind the Senegal back line but the goalkeeper comes out to claim before it becomes a problem. 4:30PM 28 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal probe the final third, keep up the high press but Poland go past it really easily and the break should be on! But as they try to come out of their own half it becomes apparent that absolutely nobody is high enough up the pitch to pass to and Senegal easily absorb the counter. 4:27PM 26 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 You can see the different approaches in this graphics: Possession: Poland vs Senegal Poland keeping more of the ball but doing it in safer positions. Senegal a little more direct and attacking the wings. Poland vs Senegal 4:25PM 24 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Credit: AFP Must be an awful pain making sure these guys are always standing in the right order. Lewandowski has tried a hopeful attempt at a volley, while off balance, from 20 yards but puts it harmlessly behind. 4:24PM 23 mins -Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal are holding their defensive shape (4-4-2) well here to deny Poland space to pass into. Poland are doing exactly the same thing, mind. 4:22PM 21 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland get up the pitch and look to have a decent chance to get the ball in the box here. It's chipped in, Milik throws himself at it and heads over. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Kamil Grosicki, 20 min) 4:21PM 19 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 All of a sudden Senegal are in! It's another quick attack, they dribble past players before making a forward pass but the shot inside the box is dragged wide. 4:18PM 16 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland attack quickly and win a corner but Senegal defend their box well and get it away, then win a throw. Senegal wait at half way to steal the ball and Sarr then goes on a dribble into the area, falls under close attention and makes an ambitious attempt at claiming a penalty. Never ever. 4:15PM 14 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Krychowiak fouls one player then lunges into another and has been booked for the first infringement. It was like he was determined to get booked there! Senegal have a free-kick about 30 yards - probably too far to shoot - but it looks like they're considering it. Sane steps up... and that's awful. He tries a knuckleball effort off the side of his foot but basically passes it out for a goal kick. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Salif Sané, 13 min) 4:13PM 11 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland are a 4-4-1-1 at the moment with Krychowiak doing a man-marking job on Mane whenever Senegal get forward on the ball. Mane puts in a great wee pass to the box but Cionek reads it well and shields until the goalkeeper can claim. 4:10PM 9 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 McCoist has pointed out the strategy at set pieces seems to be that Senegal put all their attacking players in the same position so that when they split, it's really difficult to pick up a man and stop them getting a head on any crosses into the box. Credit: FIFA Senegal have started well here. Poland seem measured and patient whereas Senegal are direct and taking the game to them. 4:08PM 7 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 According to Ally McCoist on co-comms, Senegal are heavily outnumbered in the crowd. "There are little pockets of fans but that's it" he says. Senegal win a corner, the centre-backs come forward for it. Niang prepares to take the kick... but it's cleared at the near post. 4:07PM 5 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland now keeping the ball and working forward well. Senegal have to be alert to defend as the ball is moved into the box but win possession and again come out from the back. 4:04PM 2 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal drop deep to defend a Poland attack but break into an attacking shape really quickly... then calmly pass their way out from the back. 4:02PM KICK OFF And we're off! 4:01PM National anthems done Credit: FIFA Nothing overly emotional in the national anthems and now, after ANOTHER betting advert, it's time for lovely fitba. I can't help but feel this lady is being rather presumptive. She could look quite the fool at the final whistle if Senegal turn up here today. Credit: OFFSIDE 3:55PM Here come the players 3:50PM Senegal's manager “I am certain that one day an African country will win the World Cup." Not my words, but those of Aliou Cisse, Senegal's manager and a man who really does think Senegal are in the running to do something special in this tournament. 3:47PM The last game of the first round How are you doing at Fantasy Football? The first round of games is over and if you're like me, you only have a few substitutions left to make. In my pre-tournament selection I really thought Senegal would do well here and I'm excited to see how Mane and co get on. There have been some big shocks already - Japan earlier was another! - but we're noticing some real trends. Most goals seem to come from set pieces and particularly penalties, with our old friends VAR helping out a lot. Correct decisions often mean more fouls which means more goals. 3:32PM Patrice Evra on Senegal "Don't forget about Koulibaly. Sarri made him improve a lot, he's really cool with the ball and is a massive asset for them." 3:30PM Slaven Bilic likes the look of Senegal The ITV panel are discussing how good Senegal might be. "They have something different," is Bilic's take on it. 3:27PM The World Cup in pictures This is lovely wee gallery to have a look through: Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 3:17PM Jamie Carragher on England last night Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama Our expert columnist has had his say on Raheem Sterling vs Marcus Rashford. 3:14PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 3:02PM Poland players inspecting the pitch There they are. Looking for holes and trying to find any bits of the pitch that will make the ball go super fast. 3:00PM Starting lineups Poland Szczesny, Pazdan, Cionek, Milik, Lewandowski, Krychowiak, Grosicki, Rybus, Blaszczykowski, Zielinski, Pirszczek Senegal KH. Ndiaye; Koulibaly, Gana, Sane, Diouf, Mane, Sabaly, A. Ndiaye, Ismaila, Niang, M. Wague 2:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Spartak Stadium We're in Moscow this afternoon/evening at what is usually Spartak Moscow's stadium. It looks a little something like this: Credit: GETTY IMAGES A bit like a multiplex cinema at a seaside resort. 2:43PM Senegal fans! Credit: TASS This is the first Senegal strip or flag I've seen in any of the pre-match build up photographs. Love that Senegal kit. 2:34PM What to expect from today Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Poland and Senegal's first match of the 2018 World Cup! It's a tough one to call and both teams might fancy their chances of getting all three points today - both have some really talented players and are capable of causing damage! Poland's best ever performance at the World Cup was in 1986 when they reached the semi-final: World Cup record: Poland Robert Lewandowski is by far their best player and at 29, is at peak age for a striker. This will surely be his last World Cup as one of the planet's greatest forwards though and Poland must ensure they give him enough ammunition to get every ounce of attacking talent squeezed out of him That's not to say Poland aren't decent elsewhere. Wijciech Szczesny has turned into an excellent goalkeeper, Kamil Glik won Ligue 1 with Monaco not long ago and Arkadiusz Milik has high potential. He currently plays for Napoli and big things are expected. World Cup record: Senegal Senegal's history in the competition isn't quite as impressive and aside from that brief 2002 foray to the quarter-finals, they haven't been anywhere near it. There are some great players in the current side though - Kalidou Koulibaly is a great defender, Idrissa Gueye is like a lesser-known N'Golo Kante and you might be rather familiar with Sadio Mane. There's a lot of creativity, some midfield steel and a lot of pace in this team but Poland will be aware of it. I'd imagine Poland will look to contain the game, attack down the wings and hook crosses in for Lewandowski but will defend deep and deny space for the likes of Mane and Keita Balde to exploit on the counter. Team news will be with us very shortly so make sure you stick around to get all the updates, buildup and analysis you could possibly need. And as if this game wasn't already interesting, at the moment it looks like the unfancied Japan are about to do a number on Colombia! They're winning 2-1 with a man advantage just now - this could flip the outcome of the group.
Senegal survive late Poland onslaught to throw Group H wide open
The Senegalese players and fans were celebrating with all the gusto that you might expect for one of the greatest results in their history but it was the contrast with their manager, Aliou Cisse, which felt most significant. He simply strolled towards the beaten Poland manager Adam Nawalka and offered his hand, before calmly heading towards the tunnel in the most business-like of ways. Yes, he did reappear a few moments later to acknowledge, with a tap towards his heart, those Senegalese fans who were joyously dancing in the aisles but the overall message was clear. In Cisse’s mind, this was no great surprise and he is planning for Senegal’s World Cup to be about much more than simply becoming the first African team to win so far this summer in Russia following defeats already for Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Tunisia. “We managed to control the game tactically and emotionally - that is very important,” said Cisse. “We are not too euphoric; we have highs, lows and we are not going to jump up and down. We need to stay humble.” Such measured leadership should not be mistaken for a lack of emotion. Cisse broke down in front of his squad earlier in the week, such was the importance for him of again leading his country on world football’s biggest stage after he had previously been the captain when they reached the 2002 quarter-final. The only black manager in the tournament, he is also continuing to serve as a wonderful example to other emerging African coaches. “Senegal are proud to represent the whole continent,” he said. Good planning, tactical discipline, the presence of Sadio Mane and two fairly freakish goals ultimately settled this for Senegal. Senegal coach Aliou Cisse played in the country's 2002 World Cup team, where they reached the quarter-finals Credit: AP The first deflected off both Michal Pazdam and Thiago Cionek before going in, while the second was controversially gifted to Mbaye Niang. The Senegal striker had left the pitch for treatment and was then waved on by the fourth official just as Grzegorz Krychowiak hooked a ball back to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Niang sprinted on from the side of the pitch and reached the ball ahead of Szczesny, who had left his goal in an attempt to negate the danger, before tapping the ball into an empty net. Niang later stressed that the need for treatment had been genuine and his intention innocent but it had clearly caught Poland unaware. “Wojciech tried to save the situation,” said Nawalka. “We were very surprised. The players thought a substitute was coming on and that is why there was a big misunderstanding.” On the very same pitch as Lionel Messi so struggled against Iceland to make a decisive contribution, Mane had earlier been influential. He started on the left but, while Messi played just about the entire 90 minutes on Saturday in the area between Iceland’s midfield and defence, the Liverpool winger really magnified his own threat with his movement. There were several eye-catching passes and dribbles but it was his work off the ball that was just as impressive, especially once Poland seized control of possession during the second half. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players After Robert Lewandowski had forced a good save of Khadim N’Diaye with a free-kick, an excellent header by Krychowiak did briefly give Poland some hope. Nawalka, though, would make no attempt to hide the earlier deficiencies and effectively singled out the entire midfield for criticism. “There have been many bad elements,” he said. “The wingers didn’t do a good job and, in the centre, we didn’t do well either. Two goals following our mistakes was something we were very unhappy with. In the first half we did not play. The second half was better but too little.” World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 6:24PM Some stats for you Senegal have won 50% of their World Cup matches (3/6), the best win rate of any African nation in the competition. All three of Senegal’s World Cup wins have been against European nations (France, Sweden and Poland). Poland have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986. Poland have lost seven of their last nine World Cup matches (W2), failing to score in six of those losses. Poland are the first nation to make two errors leading to a goal in a single World Cup match so far in 2018. 6:03PM Goal controversy Slaven Bilic: "For me the referee makes a mistake, Krychowiak makes a mistake, Bednarek makes a mistake". Henrik Larsson: "I think the referee's read it very poorly there. Although the ball is in Poland's control, Bednarek doesn't see what's happening, Szczesny does but he sees it too late." 6:01PM Patrice Evra delighted I'm happy! Thank you to all the Senegal players, nobody expects them to win, no other African team has won. They played for the pride, we have to congratulate the manager, it's a good day. 5:59PM Next up The last game of today is Russia vs Egypt! Will Mo Salah make a big appearance? Will home support drive Russia onto another blockbusting performance? You can follow all the action with Alan Tyers in our liveblog here. 5:56PM Krychowiak's goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's a great photo! You can see Krychowiak beating the centre-backs to the ball. 5:54PM FULL TIME That's it! Senegal deserved the points and put on a superb performance here. They attacked with pace and purpose, created chances, coutner-attacked well and were really well drilled in defence. Poland, by way of comparison, offered hardly anything of note and were well beaten. 5:53PM 90 mins +4 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Do Poland have anything left in them? They're running out of time. But it's Senegal who are close scoring as Mane has a header in space inside the box! He cushions a header back across goal and the chance is gone, Poland get it up the pitch and are looking to get the ball into the box now. It's way more direct and now they're causing Senegal problems. 5:51PM 90 mins +2 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 The crowd are getting excited! Krychowiak is trying to win space to shoot in the box, waits, waits, waits... wins a corner. Up come the big lads... but it's a great claim by the goalkeeper. He plucks the ball out of the air and then humps the ball a mile down the pitch. 5:50PM 90 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Mane turns Cionek inside out on the left wing and earns himself a corner. Great play. It's swung in... but the referee has spotted a foul in the box and it's a free-kick. 5:48PM 88 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Well this is a lot better now. The crowd is alive, Poland are getting everyone forward. "Just get it in the box!" says an exasperated McCoist. "That's how you got your goal!" he offers, as Poland keep up the short passing. 5:46PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! POLAND ARE BACK IN IT! Poland 1 - 2 Senegal (Grzegorz Krychowiak, 86 min) A free-kick from distance is crossed into the box and Krychowiak jumps to power the header past the goalkeeper! But the VAR is checking for offside. It must be a goal... The goal stands! Brilliant header and free-kick from Poland. 5:45PM 85 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 The VAR are checking this decision! It could be a penalty... but VAR say no. Oooooh that would have been a story. 5:44PM 84 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Final sub for Poland. Piszczek off, Bereszynski on. Sarr attacks the right wing, is tackled and stays down... so Poland get the ball up the other end of the pitch. Sarr stays down for ages with a mysterious injury and the referee stops the game... but it turns out, miraculously, that Sarr is fine. The referee gestures from 50 yards for him to get up. He does.... and SARR IS IN! He's gone down in the penalty area and this could be a foul! The Poland players are FURIOUS with him! 5:42PM 82 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Possession: Poland vs Senegal Whenever Senegal get the ball they move it quickly with purpose. When they lose it they drop back and defend in numbers, ready to counter attack. There's nothing on show that suggests Poland are even bothered about the score staying like this. 5:40PM 80 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 "Just do something different to try and change the game!" McCoist says. Poland put a cross in from wide left which Kownacki heads into the ground. The atmosphere is fairly calm... but Poland are 10 minutes away from a big defeat! Where's the urgency? 5:38PM 78 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: FIFA Ally McCoist's getting wound up by the lack of adventure being shown by Poland. The fans are getting on their backs too. That makes a change from the general sound of apathy. You can actually hear it. 5:36PM 76 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Poland chip hopeful balls forward and Senegal have absolutely no problem dealing with it. Where is the imagination in this Poland team? 5:34PM 74 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Kownacki on, Milik off. He sprints over to the subs bench. 5:32PM 72 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 MILIK! That's very close. He makes a run to the near post to attack a cross from wide right but pokes it wide of the goal. Better from Poland. The game's a bit scrappy now. Gueye is booked for a late one on Krychowiak, both teams are swapping possession around the halfway line. Still Senegal look the more confident and hungry of the two. 5:29PM 70 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES And this is Krychowiak's pass which led to the goal. Poland are horrible here today. No invention, no speed, no tempo to the passes - Senegal have got their number. 5:27PM 68 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the moment Niang poked the ball beyond Szczesny for his goal. 5:26PM 66 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Great control by Sabaly. He wants the ball more than Piszczcek and steals it from him in the air, sprinting down the left wing until he hits a dead end. Senegal sitting back in a deeper shape now waiting to counter-attack Poland, who have to get more men forward now if they want to score. 5:23PM 63 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Diouf is subbed for Ndoye. Poland are raging about that goal because Niang had just come back on the pitch are leaving because he was 'injured'. It's a defensive error though - no point in blaming anyone but themselves for that error. 5:20PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! IT'S 2-0! OUT OF NOWHERE! Poland 0 - 2 Senegal (M'Baye Niang, 60 min) Krychowiak passes back to the goalkeeper but it's awful! Niang chases, Szczesny comes flying off his line way too early and the centre-back doesn't intercept.... and Niang is in! He pokes it past the goalie and then taps into an empty net! That's his first ever international goal! 5:20PM 60 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Niang goes down after contesting a header but Poland play on. Diouf is furious about it and goes charging into Krychowiak, fouling him to stop the game. Just for a second it looks like things might bubble over but heads cool as the referee calms them down. Incidentally, Niang is absolutely fine. 5:18PM 58 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland attack down the left and cross to the back post and Piszcek arrives! His effort is poor. "He didn't believe it," says McCoist as we watch the replay of that one. Poor from the Poland right-back. Miss: Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Lukasz Piszczek, 56 min) 5:15PM 56 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland vs Senegal When the average positions stats look like that it helps explain why a game might not be captivating. It's been exciting in flashes but a lot of the game has been played in midfield. 5:14PM 54 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 A quick attack down the left wing for Senegal gets Sabaly in at goal. He pulls the ball back across the box but Mane can't turn it at goal and his shot is blocked. Credit: AP Senegal have the ball in the final third, Mane switches play, the cross is whipped in from wide right and a striker swings a foot at it! He's missed the ball! If that had connected it could well have flown into the back of the net. 5:11PM 52 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Lewandowski takes the free-kick... and it's a strong save by N'Diaye at the far post. Poland have upped the tempo now and look much better than they were in the first half. 5:09PM 50 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland might have changed to 3-5-1-1 for this half. The three centre-backs should be able to nullify the Senegal front two, and that helps wing-backs get higher up the pitch to lend service to Lewandowski. Great play by Lewandowski! He steals the ball at half way, breaks away and Sane brings him down before he gets to the box. It's a clear booking and now Poland have a great free-kick opportunity. 5:07PM 48 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That's a really bad start for the half for Bednarek. His head has collided with the body of a Senegal forward and he might have jarred his neck... or at least taking a whack to the jaw. He's up and back ready to play though. 5:05PM KICK OFF 2 And we're back! Substitution for Poland though. Blaszczykowski hasn't made it out for the second half and Bednarek has replaced him. 5:03PM Gueye's goal / Cionek's own goal Credit: REUTERS Give it to the attacking player I say. Without the shot there wouldn't have been a goal! 4:59PM Bilic is great chat today "4-4-2 is back in business - Atletico, Monaco - but then at least you have one of the wingers if not both midfielders who go inside and the full-backs doing that (flying high up the wing) but none of the teams are doing that. It's two vs two." "It's easy to read," says Henrik Larsson. 4:57PM Slaven Bilic on the match "It's easy to explain why this is a boring game. Both teams play the same system so they cancel each other out. So in this kind of game a goal comes from a mistake or transition, it's like a mirror. The only players changing positions are Niang and Mane, it's very predictable." 4:55PM No shots on target by either side Poland vs Senegal shots on goal 4:49PM HALF TIME A deserved lead for Senegal and there is work to do for Poland here. They've been outclassed and need to bring a lot more to the table if they're going to get anything out of this. Average touch positions (45 + 1 min) 4:46PM 44 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland look a little pedestrian here. Credit: AFP Senegal in control of possession, taking their time, winning aerial duels, following up second balls with urgency and keeping cool. 4:44PM 42 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Sarr speeds past Rybus like a shooting star and wins a corner. It's curled out, to the six yard box and SANE IS THERE! Oh that's a bad miss! The cross has hit the penalty area and the defender has headed down into the ground and bounced the ball over the bar. That should be 2-0. 4:42PM 40 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That goal's going to count as an own goal apparently because Gueye's shot was heading wide. That sucks. Senegal are really impressive here, I wonder if Poland underestimated them a little bit. They're playing with a lot of energy and freedom but look really well drilled defensively and Poland can't get near them. 4:39PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! GUEYE HAS SCORED! Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Idrissa Gueye, 37 min) Great attack by Senegal but Poland's defending is dreadful here! Mane looks like he's going to hit it, passes it to his right and Gueye has space. He lines up the shot, fires it low and it takes a BIG deflection off Cionek and wrong-foots the goalkeeper. Senegal have the lead! 4:38PM 36 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Blaszczkowski is struggling a little bit after riding a tackle on the edge of the Senegal box but appears to be OK for now. 4:36PM 34 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Sarr controls a long switched pas son his chest beautifully, runs down the right and crosses in low... but a defender stabs it away. Senegal keep up the pressure, the ball comes in from the right again and Diouf attacks! But he can't get enough on his header, the centre-backs clear their lines and there was an offside in the buildup anyway. 4:34PM 32 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Nothing too much happening at the moment. The ball is mostly at halfway with no particular team really in control of it. Both looking to attack but losing the ball too early to do anything with it. 4:32PM 30 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Rybus runs in behind the Senegal back line but the goalkeeper comes out to claim before it becomes a problem. 4:30PM 28 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal probe the final third, keep up the high press but Poland go past it really easily and the break should be on! But as they try to come out of their own half it becomes apparent that absolutely nobody is high enough up the pitch to pass to and Senegal easily absorb the counter. 4:27PM 26 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 You can see the different approaches in this graphics: Possession: Poland vs Senegal Poland keeping more of the ball but doing it in safer positions. Senegal a little more direct and attacking the wings. Poland vs Senegal 4:25PM 24 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Credit: AFP Must be an awful pain making sure these guys are always standing in the right order. Lewandowski has tried a hopeful attempt at a volley, while off balance, from 20 yards but puts it harmlessly behind. 4:24PM 23 mins -Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal are holding their defensive shape (4-4-2) well here to deny Poland space to pass into. Poland are doing exactly the same thing, mind. 4:22PM 21 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland get up the pitch and look to have a decent chance to get the ball in the box here. It's chipped in, Milik throws himself at it and heads over. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Kamil Grosicki, 20 min) 4:21PM 19 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 All of a sudden Senegal are in! It's another quick attack, they dribble past players before making a forward pass but the shot inside the box is dragged wide. 4:18PM 16 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland attack quickly and win a corner but Senegal defend their box well and get it away, then win a throw. Senegal wait at half way to steal the ball and Sarr then goes on a dribble into the area, falls under close attention and makes an ambitious attempt at claiming a penalty. Never ever. 4:15PM 14 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Krychowiak fouls one player then lunges into another and has been booked for the first infringement. It was like he was determined to get booked there! Senegal have a free-kick about 30 yards - probably too far to shoot - but it looks like they're considering it. Sane steps up... and that's awful. He tries a knuckleball effort off the side of his foot but basically passes it out for a goal kick. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Salif Sané, 13 min) 4:13PM 11 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland are a 4-4-1-1 at the moment with Krychowiak doing a man-marking job on Mane whenever Senegal get forward on the ball. Mane puts in a great wee pass to the box but Cionek reads it well and shields until the goalkeeper can claim. 4:10PM 9 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 McCoist has pointed out the strategy at set pieces seems to be that Senegal put all their attacking players in the same position so that when they split, it's really difficult to pick up a man and stop them getting a head on any crosses into the box. Credit: FIFA Senegal have started well here. Poland seem measured and patient whereas Senegal are direct and taking the game to them. 4:08PM 7 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 According to Ally McCoist on co-comms, Senegal are heavily outnumbered in the crowd. "There are little pockets of fans but that's it" he says. Senegal win a corner, the centre-backs come forward for it. Niang prepares to take the kick... but it's cleared at the near post. 4:07PM 5 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland now keeping the ball and working forward well. Senegal have to be alert to defend as the ball is moved into the box but win possession and again come out from the back. 4:04PM 2 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal drop deep to defend a Poland attack but break into an attacking shape really quickly... then calmly pass their way out from the back. 4:02PM KICK OFF And we're off! 4:01PM National anthems done Credit: FIFA Nothing overly emotional in the national anthems and now, after ANOTHER betting advert, it's time for lovely fitba. I can't help but feel this lady is being rather presumptive. She could look quite the fool at the final whistle if Senegal turn up here today. Credit: OFFSIDE 3:55PM Here come the players 3:50PM Senegal's manager “I am certain that one day an African country will win the World Cup." Not my words, but those of Aliou Cisse, Senegal's manager and a man who really does think Senegal are in the running to do something special in this tournament. 3:47PM The last game of the first round How are you doing at Fantasy Football? The first round of games is over and if you're like me, you only have a few substitutions left to make. In my pre-tournament selection I really thought Senegal would do well here and I'm excited to see how Mane and co get on. There have been some big shocks already - Japan earlier was another! - but we're noticing some real trends. Most goals seem to come from set pieces and particularly penalties, with our old friends VAR helping out a lot. Correct decisions often mean more fouls which means more goals. 3:32PM Patrice Evra on Senegal "Don't forget about Koulibaly. Sarri made him improve a lot, he's really cool with the ball and is a massive asset for them." 3:30PM Slaven Bilic likes the look of Senegal The ITV panel are discussing how good Senegal might be. "They have something different," is Bilic's take on it. 3:27PM The World Cup in pictures This is lovely wee gallery to have a look through: Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 3:17PM Jamie Carragher on England last night Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama Our expert columnist has had his say on Raheem Sterling vs Marcus Rashford. 3:14PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 3:02PM Poland players inspecting the pitch There they are. Looking for holes and trying to find any bits of the pitch that will make the ball go super fast. 3:00PM Starting lineups Poland Szczesny, Pazdan, Cionek, Milik, Lewandowski, Krychowiak, Grosicki, Rybus, Blaszczykowski, Zielinski, Pirszczek Senegal KH. Ndiaye; Koulibaly, Gana, Sane, Diouf, Mane, Sabaly, A. Ndiaye, Ismaila, Niang, M. Wague 2:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Spartak Stadium We're in Moscow this afternoon/evening at what is usually Spartak Moscow's stadium. It looks a little something like this: Credit: GETTY IMAGES A bit like a multiplex cinema at a seaside resort. 2:43PM Senegal fans! Credit: TASS This is the first Senegal strip or flag I've seen in any of the pre-match build up photographs. Love that Senegal kit. 2:34PM What to expect from today Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Poland and Senegal's first match of the 2018 World Cup! It's a tough one to call and both teams might fancy their chances of getting all three points today - both have some really talented players and are capable of causing damage! Poland's best ever performance at the World Cup was in 1986 when they reached the semi-final: World Cup record: Poland Robert Lewandowski is by far their best player and at 29, is at peak age for a striker. This will surely be his last World Cup as one of the planet's greatest forwards though and Poland must ensure they give him enough ammunition to get every ounce of attacking talent squeezed out of him That's not to say Poland aren't decent elsewhere. Wijciech Szczesny has turned into an excellent goalkeeper, Kamil Glik won Ligue 1 with Monaco not long ago and Arkadiusz Milik has high potential. He currently plays for Napoli and big things are expected. World Cup record: Senegal Senegal's history in the competition isn't quite as impressive and aside from that brief 2002 foray to the quarter-finals, they haven't been anywhere near it. There are some great players in the current side though - Kalidou Koulibaly is a great defender, Idrissa Gueye is like a lesser-known N'Golo Kante and you might be rather familiar with Sadio Mane. There's a lot of creativity, some midfield steel and a lot of pace in this team but Poland will be aware of it. I'd imagine Poland will look to contain the game, attack down the wings and hook crosses in for Lewandowski but will defend deep and deny space for the likes of Mane and Keita Balde to exploit on the counter. Team news will be with us very shortly so make sure you stick around to get all the updates, buildup and analysis you could possibly need. And as if this game wasn't already interesting, at the moment it looks like the unfancied Japan are about to do a number on Colombia! They're winning 2-1 with a man advantage just now - this could flip the outcome of the group.
The Senegalese players and fans were celebrating with all the gusto that you might expect for one of the greatest results in their history but it was the contrast with their manager, Aliou Cisse, which felt most significant. He simply strolled towards the beaten Poland manager Adam Nawalka and offered his hand, before calmly heading towards the tunnel in the most business-like of ways. Yes, he did reappear a few moments later to acknowledge, with a tap towards his heart, those Senegalese fans who were joyously dancing in the aisles but the overall message was clear. In Cisse’s mind, this was no great surprise and he is planning for Senegal’s World Cup to be about much more than simply becoming the first African team to win so far this summer in Russia following defeats already for Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Tunisia. “We managed to control the game tactically and emotionally - that is very important,” said Cisse. “We are not too euphoric; we have highs, lows and we are not going to jump up and down. We need to stay humble.” Such measured leadership should not be mistaken for a lack of emotion. Cisse broke down in front of his squad earlier in the week, such was the importance for him of again leading his country on world football’s biggest stage after he had previously been the captain when they reached the 2002 quarter-final. The only black manager in the tournament, he is also continuing to serve as a wonderful example to other emerging African coaches. “Senegal are proud to represent the whole continent,” he said. Good planning, tactical discipline, the presence of Sadio Mane and two fairly freakish goals ultimately settled this for Senegal. Senegal coach Aliou Cisse played in the country's 2002 World Cup team, where they reached the quarter-finals Credit: AP The first deflected off both Michal Pazdam and Thiago Cionek before going in, while the second was controversially gifted to Mbaye Niang. The Senegal striker had left the pitch for treatment and was then waved on by the fourth official just as Grzegorz Krychowiak hooked a ball back to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Niang sprinted on from the side of the pitch and reached the ball ahead of Szczesny, who had left his goal in an attempt to negate the danger, before tapping the ball into an empty net. Niang later stressed that the need for treatment had been genuine and his intention innocent but it had clearly caught Poland unaware. “Wojciech tried to save the situation,” said Nawalka. “We were very surprised. The players thought a substitute was coming on and that is why there was a big misunderstanding.” On the very same pitch as Lionel Messi so struggled against Iceland to make a decisive contribution, Mane had earlier been influential. He started on the left but, while Messi played just about the entire 90 minutes on Saturday in the area between Iceland’s midfield and defence, the Liverpool winger really magnified his own threat with his movement. There were several eye-catching passes and dribbles but it was his work off the ball that was just as impressive, especially once Poland seized control of possession during the second half. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players After Robert Lewandowski had forced a good save of Khadim N’Diaye with a free-kick, an excellent header by Krychowiak did briefly give Poland some hope. Nawalka, though, would make no attempt to hide the earlier deficiencies and effectively singled out the entire midfield for criticism. “There have been many bad elements,” he said. “The wingers didn’t do a good job and, in the centre, we didn’t do well either. Two goals following our mistakes was something we were very unhappy with. In the first half we did not play. The second half was better but too little.” World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 6:24PM Some stats for you Senegal have won 50% of their World Cup matches (3/6), the best win rate of any African nation in the competition. All three of Senegal’s World Cup wins have been against European nations (France, Sweden and Poland). Poland have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986. Poland have lost seven of their last nine World Cup matches (W2), failing to score in six of those losses. Poland are the first nation to make two errors leading to a goal in a single World Cup match so far in 2018. 6:03PM Goal controversy Slaven Bilic: "For me the referee makes a mistake, Krychowiak makes a mistake, Bednarek makes a mistake". Henrik Larsson: "I think the referee's read it very poorly there. Although the ball is in Poland's control, Bednarek doesn't see what's happening, Szczesny does but he sees it too late." 6:01PM Patrice Evra delighted I'm happy! Thank you to all the Senegal players, nobody expects them to win, no other African team has won. They played for the pride, we have to congratulate the manager, it's a good day. 5:59PM Next up The last game of today is Russia vs Egypt! Will Mo Salah make a big appearance? Will home support drive Russia onto another blockbusting performance? You can follow all the action with Alan Tyers in our liveblog here. 5:56PM Krychowiak's goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's a great photo! You can see Krychowiak beating the centre-backs to the ball. 5:54PM FULL TIME That's it! Senegal deserved the points and put on a superb performance here. They attacked with pace and purpose, created chances, coutner-attacked well and were really well drilled in defence. Poland, by way of comparison, offered hardly anything of note and were well beaten. 5:53PM 90 mins +4 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Do Poland have anything left in them? They're running out of time. But it's Senegal who are close scoring as Mane has a header in space inside the box! He cushions a header back across goal and the chance is gone, Poland get it up the pitch and are looking to get the ball into the box now. It's way more direct and now they're causing Senegal problems. 5:51PM 90 mins +2 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 The crowd are getting excited! Krychowiak is trying to win space to shoot in the box, waits, waits, waits... wins a corner. Up come the big lads... but it's a great claim by the goalkeeper. He plucks the ball out of the air and then humps the ball a mile down the pitch. 5:50PM 90 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Mane turns Cionek inside out on the left wing and earns himself a corner. Great play. It's swung in... but the referee has spotted a foul in the box and it's a free-kick. 5:48PM 88 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Well this is a lot better now. The crowd is alive, Poland are getting everyone forward. "Just get it in the box!" says an exasperated McCoist. "That's how you got your goal!" he offers, as Poland keep up the short passing. 5:46PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! POLAND ARE BACK IN IT! Poland 1 - 2 Senegal (Grzegorz Krychowiak, 86 min) A free-kick from distance is crossed into the box and Krychowiak jumps to power the header past the goalkeeper! But the VAR is checking for offside. It must be a goal... The goal stands! Brilliant header and free-kick from Poland. 5:45PM 85 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 The VAR are checking this decision! It could be a penalty... but VAR say no. Oooooh that would have been a story. 5:44PM 84 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Final sub for Poland. Piszczek off, Bereszynski on. Sarr attacks the right wing, is tackled and stays down... so Poland get the ball up the other end of the pitch. Sarr stays down for ages with a mysterious injury and the referee stops the game... but it turns out, miraculously, that Sarr is fine. The referee gestures from 50 yards for him to get up. He does.... and SARR IS IN! He's gone down in the penalty area and this could be a foul! The Poland players are FURIOUS with him! 5:42PM 82 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Possession: Poland vs Senegal Whenever Senegal get the ball they move it quickly with purpose. When they lose it they drop back and defend in numbers, ready to counter attack. There's nothing on show that suggests Poland are even bothered about the score staying like this. 5:40PM 80 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 "Just do something different to try and change the game!" McCoist says. Poland put a cross in from wide left which Kownacki heads into the ground. The atmosphere is fairly calm... but Poland are 10 minutes away from a big defeat! Where's the urgency? 5:38PM 78 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: FIFA Ally McCoist's getting wound up by the lack of adventure being shown by Poland. The fans are getting on their backs too. That makes a change from the general sound of apathy. You can actually hear it. 5:36PM 76 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Poland chip hopeful balls forward and Senegal have absolutely no problem dealing with it. Where is the imagination in this Poland team? 5:34PM 74 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Kownacki on, Milik off. He sprints over to the subs bench. 5:32PM 72 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 MILIK! That's very close. He makes a run to the near post to attack a cross from wide right but pokes it wide of the goal. Better from Poland. The game's a bit scrappy now. Gueye is booked for a late one on Krychowiak, both teams are swapping possession around the halfway line. Still Senegal look the more confident and hungry of the two. 5:29PM 70 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES And this is Krychowiak's pass which led to the goal. Poland are horrible here today. No invention, no speed, no tempo to the passes - Senegal have got their number. 5:27PM 68 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the moment Niang poked the ball beyond Szczesny for his goal. 5:26PM 66 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Great control by Sabaly. He wants the ball more than Piszczcek and steals it from him in the air, sprinting down the left wing until he hits a dead end. Senegal sitting back in a deeper shape now waiting to counter-attack Poland, who have to get more men forward now if they want to score. 5:23PM 63 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Diouf is subbed for Ndoye. Poland are raging about that goal because Niang had just come back on the pitch are leaving because he was 'injured'. It's a defensive error though - no point in blaming anyone but themselves for that error. 5:20PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! IT'S 2-0! OUT OF NOWHERE! Poland 0 - 2 Senegal (M'Baye Niang, 60 min) Krychowiak passes back to the goalkeeper but it's awful! Niang chases, Szczesny comes flying off his line way too early and the centre-back doesn't intercept.... and Niang is in! He pokes it past the goalie and then taps into an empty net! That's his first ever international goal! 5:20PM 60 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Niang goes down after contesting a header but Poland play on. Diouf is furious about it and goes charging into Krychowiak, fouling him to stop the game. Just for a second it looks like things might bubble over but heads cool as the referee calms them down. Incidentally, Niang is absolutely fine. 5:18PM 58 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland attack down the left and cross to the back post and Piszcek arrives! His effort is poor. "He didn't believe it," says McCoist as we watch the replay of that one. Poor from the Poland right-back. Miss: Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Lukasz Piszczek, 56 min) 5:15PM 56 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland vs Senegal When the average positions stats look like that it helps explain why a game might not be captivating. It's been exciting in flashes but a lot of the game has been played in midfield. 5:14PM 54 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 A quick attack down the left wing for Senegal gets Sabaly in at goal. He pulls the ball back across the box but Mane can't turn it at goal and his shot is blocked. Credit: AP Senegal have the ball in the final third, Mane switches play, the cross is whipped in from wide right and a striker swings a foot at it! He's missed the ball! If that had connected it could well have flown into the back of the net. 5:11PM 52 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Lewandowski takes the free-kick... and it's a strong save by N'Diaye at the far post. Poland have upped the tempo now and look much better than they were in the first half. 5:09PM 50 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland might have changed to 3-5-1-1 for this half. The three centre-backs should be able to nullify the Senegal front two, and that helps wing-backs get higher up the pitch to lend service to Lewandowski. Great play by Lewandowski! He steals the ball at half way, breaks away and Sane brings him down before he gets to the box. It's a clear booking and now Poland have a great free-kick opportunity. 5:07PM 48 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That's a really bad start for the half for Bednarek. His head has collided with the body of a Senegal forward and he might have jarred his neck... or at least taking a whack to the jaw. He's up and back ready to play though. 5:05PM KICK OFF 2 And we're back! Substitution for Poland though. Blaszczykowski hasn't made it out for the second half and Bednarek has replaced him. 5:03PM Gueye's goal / Cionek's own goal Credit: REUTERS Give it to the attacking player I say. Without the shot there wouldn't have been a goal! 4:59PM Bilic is great chat today "4-4-2 is back in business - Atletico, Monaco - but then at least you have one of the wingers if not both midfielders who go inside and the full-backs doing that (flying high up the wing) but none of the teams are doing that. It's two vs two." "It's easy to read," says Henrik Larsson. 4:57PM Slaven Bilic on the match "It's easy to explain why this is a boring game. Both teams play the same system so they cancel each other out. So in this kind of game a goal comes from a mistake or transition, it's like a mirror. The only players changing positions are Niang and Mane, it's very predictable." 4:55PM No shots on target by either side Poland vs Senegal shots on goal 4:49PM HALF TIME A deserved lead for Senegal and there is work to do for Poland here. They've been outclassed and need to bring a lot more to the table if they're going to get anything out of this. Average touch positions (45 + 1 min) 4:46PM 44 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland look a little pedestrian here. Credit: AFP Senegal in control of possession, taking their time, winning aerial duels, following up second balls with urgency and keeping cool. 4:44PM 42 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Sarr speeds past Rybus like a shooting star and wins a corner. It's curled out, to the six yard box and SANE IS THERE! Oh that's a bad miss! The cross has hit the penalty area and the defender has headed down into the ground and bounced the ball over the bar. That should be 2-0. 4:42PM 40 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That goal's going to count as an own goal apparently because Gueye's shot was heading wide. That sucks. Senegal are really impressive here, I wonder if Poland underestimated them a little bit. They're playing with a lot of energy and freedom but look really well drilled defensively and Poland can't get near them. 4:39PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! GUEYE HAS SCORED! Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Idrissa Gueye, 37 min) Great attack by Senegal but Poland's defending is dreadful here! Mane looks like he's going to hit it, passes it to his right and Gueye has space. He lines up the shot, fires it low and it takes a BIG deflection off Cionek and wrong-foots the goalkeeper. Senegal have the lead! 4:38PM 36 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Blaszczkowski is struggling a little bit after riding a tackle on the edge of the Senegal box but appears to be OK for now. 4:36PM 34 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Sarr controls a long switched pas son his chest beautifully, runs down the right and crosses in low... but a defender stabs it away. Senegal keep up the pressure, the ball comes in from the right again and Diouf attacks! But he can't get enough on his header, the centre-backs clear their lines and there was an offside in the buildup anyway. 4:34PM 32 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Nothing too much happening at the moment. The ball is mostly at halfway with no particular team really in control of it. Both looking to attack but losing the ball too early to do anything with it. 4:32PM 30 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Rybus runs in behind the Senegal back line but the goalkeeper comes out to claim before it becomes a problem. 4:30PM 28 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal probe the final third, keep up the high press but Poland go past it really easily and the break should be on! But as they try to come out of their own half it becomes apparent that absolutely nobody is high enough up the pitch to pass to and Senegal easily absorb the counter. 4:27PM 26 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 You can see the different approaches in this graphics: Possession: Poland vs Senegal Poland keeping more of the ball but doing it in safer positions. Senegal a little more direct and attacking the wings. Poland vs Senegal 4:25PM 24 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Credit: AFP Must be an awful pain making sure these guys are always standing in the right order. Lewandowski has tried a hopeful attempt at a volley, while off balance, from 20 yards but puts it harmlessly behind. 4:24PM 23 mins -Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal are holding their defensive shape (4-4-2) well here to deny Poland space to pass into. Poland are doing exactly the same thing, mind. 4:22PM 21 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland get up the pitch and look to have a decent chance to get the ball in the box here. It's chipped in, Milik throws himself at it and heads over. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Kamil Grosicki, 20 min) 4:21PM 19 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 All of a sudden Senegal are in! It's another quick attack, they dribble past players before making a forward pass but the shot inside the box is dragged wide. 4:18PM 16 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland attack quickly and win a corner but Senegal defend their box well and get it away, then win a throw. Senegal wait at half way to steal the ball and Sarr then goes on a dribble into the area, falls under close attention and makes an ambitious attempt at claiming a penalty. Never ever. 4:15PM 14 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Krychowiak fouls one player then lunges into another and has been booked for the first infringement. It was like he was determined to get booked there! Senegal have a free-kick about 30 yards - probably too far to shoot - but it looks like they're considering it. Sane steps up... and that's awful. He tries a knuckleball effort off the side of his foot but basically passes it out for a goal kick. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Salif Sané, 13 min) 4:13PM 11 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland are a 4-4-1-1 at the moment with Krychowiak doing a man-marking job on Mane whenever Senegal get forward on the ball. Mane puts in a great wee pass to the box but Cionek reads it well and shields until the goalkeeper can claim. 4:10PM 9 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 McCoist has pointed out the strategy at set pieces seems to be that Senegal put all their attacking players in the same position so that when they split, it's really difficult to pick up a man and stop them getting a head on any crosses into the box. Credit: FIFA Senegal have started well here. Poland seem measured and patient whereas Senegal are direct and taking the game to them. 4:08PM 7 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 According to Ally McCoist on co-comms, Senegal are heavily outnumbered in the crowd. "There are little pockets of fans but that's it" he says. Senegal win a corner, the centre-backs come forward for it. Niang prepares to take the kick... but it's cleared at the near post. 4:07PM 5 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland now keeping the ball and working forward well. Senegal have to be alert to defend as the ball is moved into the box but win possession and again come out from the back. 4:04PM 2 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal drop deep to defend a Poland attack but break into an attacking shape really quickly... then calmly pass their way out from the back. 4:02PM KICK OFF And we're off! 4:01PM National anthems done Credit: FIFA Nothing overly emotional in the national anthems and now, after ANOTHER betting advert, it's time for lovely fitba. I can't help but feel this lady is being rather presumptive. She could look quite the fool at the final whistle if Senegal turn up here today. Credit: OFFSIDE 3:55PM Here come the players 3:50PM Senegal's manager “I am certain that one day an African country will win the World Cup." Not my words, but those of Aliou Cisse, Senegal's manager and a man who really does think Senegal are in the running to do something special in this tournament. 3:47PM The last game of the first round How are you doing at Fantasy Football? The first round of games is over and if you're like me, you only have a few substitutions left to make. In my pre-tournament selection I really thought Senegal would do well here and I'm excited to see how Mane and co get on. There have been some big shocks already - Japan earlier was another! - but we're noticing some real trends. Most goals seem to come from set pieces and particularly penalties, with our old friends VAR helping out a lot. Correct decisions often mean more fouls which means more goals. 3:32PM Patrice Evra on Senegal "Don't forget about Koulibaly. Sarri made him improve a lot, he's really cool with the ball and is a massive asset for them." 3:30PM Slaven Bilic likes the look of Senegal The ITV panel are discussing how good Senegal might be. "They have something different," is Bilic's take on it. 3:27PM The World Cup in pictures This is lovely wee gallery to have a look through: Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 3:17PM Jamie Carragher on England last night Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama Our expert columnist has had his say on Raheem Sterling vs Marcus Rashford. 3:14PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 3:02PM Poland players inspecting the pitch There they are. Looking for holes and trying to find any bits of the pitch that will make the ball go super fast. 3:00PM Starting lineups Poland Szczesny, Pazdan, Cionek, Milik, Lewandowski, Krychowiak, Grosicki, Rybus, Blaszczykowski, Zielinski, Pirszczek Senegal KH. Ndiaye; Koulibaly, Gana, Sane, Diouf, Mane, Sabaly, A. Ndiaye, Ismaila, Niang, M. Wague 2:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Spartak Stadium We're in Moscow this afternoon/evening at what is usually Spartak Moscow's stadium. It looks a little something like this: Credit: GETTY IMAGES A bit like a multiplex cinema at a seaside resort. 2:43PM Senegal fans! Credit: TASS This is the first Senegal strip or flag I've seen in any of the pre-match build up photographs. Love that Senegal kit. 2:34PM What to expect from today Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Poland and Senegal's first match of the 2018 World Cup! It's a tough one to call and both teams might fancy their chances of getting all three points today - both have some really talented players and are capable of causing damage! Poland's best ever performance at the World Cup was in 1986 when they reached the semi-final: World Cup record: Poland Robert Lewandowski is by far their best player and at 29, is at peak age for a striker. This will surely be his last World Cup as one of the planet's greatest forwards though and Poland must ensure they give him enough ammunition to get every ounce of attacking talent squeezed out of him That's not to say Poland aren't decent elsewhere. Wijciech Szczesny has turned into an excellent goalkeeper, Kamil Glik won Ligue 1 with Monaco not long ago and Arkadiusz Milik has high potential. He currently plays for Napoli and big things are expected. World Cup record: Senegal Senegal's history in the competition isn't quite as impressive and aside from that brief 2002 foray to the quarter-finals, they haven't been anywhere near it. There are some great players in the current side though - Kalidou Koulibaly is a great defender, Idrissa Gueye is like a lesser-known N'Golo Kante and you might be rather familiar with Sadio Mane. There's a lot of creativity, some midfield steel and a lot of pace in this team but Poland will be aware of it. I'd imagine Poland will look to contain the game, attack down the wings and hook crosses in for Lewandowski but will defend deep and deny space for the likes of Mane and Keita Balde to exploit on the counter. Team news will be with us very shortly so make sure you stick around to get all the updates, buildup and analysis you could possibly need. And as if this game wasn't already interesting, at the moment it looks like the unfancied Japan are about to do a number on Colombia! They're winning 2-1 with a man advantage just now - this could flip the outcome of the group.
Senegal survive late Poland onslaught to throw Group H wide open
The Senegalese players and fans were celebrating with all the gusto that you might expect for one of the greatest results in their history but it was the contrast with their manager, Aliou Cisse, which felt most significant. He simply strolled towards the beaten Poland manager Adam Nawalka and offered his hand, before calmly heading towards the tunnel in the most business-like of ways. Yes, he did reappear a few moments later to acknowledge, with a tap towards his heart, those Senegalese fans who were joyously dancing in the aisles but the overall message was clear. In Cisse’s mind, this was no great surprise and he is planning for Senegal’s World Cup to be about much more than simply becoming the first African team to win so far this summer in Russia following defeats already for Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Tunisia. “We managed to control the game tactically and emotionally - that is very important,” said Cisse. “We are not too euphoric; we have highs, lows and we are not going to jump up and down. We need to stay humble.” Such measured leadership should not be mistaken for a lack of emotion. Cisse broke down in front of his squad earlier in the week, such was the importance for him of again leading his country on world football’s biggest stage after he had previously been the captain when they reached the 2002 quarter-final. The only black manager in the tournament, he is also continuing to serve as a wonderful example to other emerging African coaches. “Senegal are proud to represent the whole continent,” he said. Good planning, tactical discipline, the presence of Sadio Mane and two fairly freakish goals ultimately settled this for Senegal. Senegal coach Aliou Cisse played in the country's 2002 World Cup team, where they reached the quarter-finals Credit: AP The first deflected off both Michal Pazdam and Thiago Cionek before going in, while the second was controversially gifted to Mbaye Niang. The Senegal striker had left the pitch for treatment and was then waved on by the fourth official just as Grzegorz Krychowiak hooked a ball back to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Niang sprinted on from the side of the pitch and reached the ball ahead of Szczesny, who had left his goal in an attempt to negate the danger, before tapping the ball into an empty net. Niang later stressed that the need for treatment had been genuine and his intention innocent but it had clearly caught Poland unaware. “Wojciech tried to save the situation,” said Nawalka. “We were very surprised. The players thought a substitute was coming on and that is why there was a big misunderstanding.” On the very same pitch as Lionel Messi so struggled against Iceland to make a decisive contribution, Mane had earlier been influential. He started on the left but, while Messi played just about the entire 90 minutes on Saturday in the area between Iceland’s midfield and defence, the Liverpool winger really magnified his own threat with his movement. There were several eye-catching passes and dribbles but it was his work off the ball that was just as impressive, especially once Poland seized control of possession during the second half. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players After Robert Lewandowski had forced a good save of Khadim N’Diaye with a free-kick, an excellent header by Krychowiak did briefly give Poland some hope. Nawalka, though, would make no attempt to hide the earlier deficiencies and effectively singled out the entire midfield for criticism. “There have been many bad elements,” he said. “The wingers didn’t do a good job and, in the centre, we didn’t do well either. Two goals following our mistakes was something we were very unhappy with. In the first half we did not play. The second half was better but too little.” World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 6:24PM Some stats for you Senegal have won 50% of their World Cup matches (3/6), the best win rate of any African nation in the competition. All three of Senegal’s World Cup wins have been against European nations (France, Sweden and Poland). Poland have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986. Poland have lost seven of their last nine World Cup matches (W2), failing to score in six of those losses. Poland are the first nation to make two errors leading to a goal in a single World Cup match so far in 2018. 6:03PM Goal controversy Slaven Bilic: "For me the referee makes a mistake, Krychowiak makes a mistake, Bednarek makes a mistake". Henrik Larsson: "I think the referee's read it very poorly there. Although the ball is in Poland's control, Bednarek doesn't see what's happening, Szczesny does but he sees it too late." 6:01PM Patrice Evra delighted I'm happy! Thank you to all the Senegal players, nobody expects them to win, no other African team has won. They played for the pride, we have to congratulate the manager, it's a good day. 5:59PM Next up The last game of today is Russia vs Egypt! Will Mo Salah make a big appearance? Will home support drive Russia onto another blockbusting performance? You can follow all the action with Alan Tyers in our liveblog here. 5:56PM Krychowiak's goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's a great photo! You can see Krychowiak beating the centre-backs to the ball. 5:54PM FULL TIME That's it! Senegal deserved the points and put on a superb performance here. They attacked with pace and purpose, created chances, coutner-attacked well and were really well drilled in defence. Poland, by way of comparison, offered hardly anything of note and were well beaten. 5:53PM 90 mins +4 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Do Poland have anything left in them? They're running out of time. But it's Senegal who are close scoring as Mane has a header in space inside the box! He cushions a header back across goal and the chance is gone, Poland get it up the pitch and are looking to get the ball into the box now. It's way more direct and now they're causing Senegal problems. 5:51PM 90 mins +2 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 The crowd are getting excited! Krychowiak is trying to win space to shoot in the box, waits, waits, waits... wins a corner. Up come the big lads... but it's a great claim by the goalkeeper. He plucks the ball out of the air and then humps the ball a mile down the pitch. 5:50PM 90 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Mane turns Cionek inside out on the left wing and earns himself a corner. Great play. It's swung in... but the referee has spotted a foul in the box and it's a free-kick. 5:48PM 88 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Well this is a lot better now. The crowd is alive, Poland are getting everyone forward. "Just get it in the box!" says an exasperated McCoist. "That's how you got your goal!" he offers, as Poland keep up the short passing. 5:46PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! POLAND ARE BACK IN IT! Poland 1 - 2 Senegal (Grzegorz Krychowiak, 86 min) A free-kick from distance is crossed into the box and Krychowiak jumps to power the header past the goalkeeper! But the VAR is checking for offside. It must be a goal... The goal stands! Brilliant header and free-kick from Poland. 5:45PM 85 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 The VAR are checking this decision! It could be a penalty... but VAR say no. Oooooh that would have been a story. 5:44PM 84 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Final sub for Poland. Piszczek off, Bereszynski on. Sarr attacks the right wing, is tackled and stays down... so Poland get the ball up the other end of the pitch. Sarr stays down for ages with a mysterious injury and the referee stops the game... but it turns out, miraculously, that Sarr is fine. The referee gestures from 50 yards for him to get up. He does.... and SARR IS IN! He's gone down in the penalty area and this could be a foul! The Poland players are FURIOUS with him! 5:42PM 82 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Possession: Poland vs Senegal Whenever Senegal get the ball they move it quickly with purpose. When they lose it they drop back and defend in numbers, ready to counter attack. There's nothing on show that suggests Poland are even bothered about the score staying like this. 5:40PM 80 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 "Just do something different to try and change the game!" McCoist says. Poland put a cross in from wide left which Kownacki heads into the ground. The atmosphere is fairly calm... but Poland are 10 minutes away from a big defeat! Where's the urgency? 5:38PM 78 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: FIFA Ally McCoist's getting wound up by the lack of adventure being shown by Poland. The fans are getting on their backs too. That makes a change from the general sound of apathy. You can actually hear it. 5:36PM 76 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Poland chip hopeful balls forward and Senegal have absolutely no problem dealing with it. Where is the imagination in this Poland team? 5:34PM 74 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Kownacki on, Milik off. He sprints over to the subs bench. 5:32PM 72 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 MILIK! That's very close. He makes a run to the near post to attack a cross from wide right but pokes it wide of the goal. Better from Poland. The game's a bit scrappy now. Gueye is booked for a late one on Krychowiak, both teams are swapping possession around the halfway line. Still Senegal look the more confident and hungry of the two. 5:29PM 70 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES And this is Krychowiak's pass which led to the goal. Poland are horrible here today. No invention, no speed, no tempo to the passes - Senegal have got their number. 5:27PM 68 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the moment Niang poked the ball beyond Szczesny for his goal. 5:26PM 66 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Great control by Sabaly. He wants the ball more than Piszczcek and steals it from him in the air, sprinting down the left wing until he hits a dead end. Senegal sitting back in a deeper shape now waiting to counter-attack Poland, who have to get more men forward now if they want to score. 5:23PM 63 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Diouf is subbed for Ndoye. Poland are raging about that goal because Niang had just come back on the pitch are leaving because he was 'injured'. It's a defensive error though - no point in blaming anyone but themselves for that error. 5:20PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! IT'S 2-0! OUT OF NOWHERE! Poland 0 - 2 Senegal (M'Baye Niang, 60 min) Krychowiak passes back to the goalkeeper but it's awful! Niang chases, Szczesny comes flying off his line way too early and the centre-back doesn't intercept.... and Niang is in! He pokes it past the goalie and then taps into an empty net! That's his first ever international goal! 5:20PM 60 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Niang goes down after contesting a header but Poland play on. Diouf is furious about it and goes charging into Krychowiak, fouling him to stop the game. Just for a second it looks like things might bubble over but heads cool as the referee calms them down. Incidentally, Niang is absolutely fine. 5:18PM 58 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland attack down the left and cross to the back post and Piszcek arrives! His effort is poor. "He didn't believe it," says McCoist as we watch the replay of that one. Poor from the Poland right-back. Miss: Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Lukasz Piszczek, 56 min) 5:15PM 56 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland vs Senegal When the average positions stats look like that it helps explain why a game might not be captivating. It's been exciting in flashes but a lot of the game has been played in midfield. 5:14PM 54 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 A quick attack down the left wing for Senegal gets Sabaly in at goal. He pulls the ball back across the box but Mane can't turn it at goal and his shot is blocked. Credit: AP Senegal have the ball in the final third, Mane switches play, the cross is whipped in from wide right and a striker swings a foot at it! He's missed the ball! If that had connected it could well have flown into the back of the net. 5:11PM 52 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Lewandowski takes the free-kick... and it's a strong save by N'Diaye at the far post. Poland have upped the tempo now and look much better than they were in the first half. 5:09PM 50 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland might have changed to 3-5-1-1 for this half. The three centre-backs should be able to nullify the Senegal front two, and that helps wing-backs get higher up the pitch to lend service to Lewandowski. Great play by Lewandowski! He steals the ball at half way, breaks away and Sane brings him down before he gets to the box. It's a clear booking and now Poland have a great free-kick opportunity. 5:07PM 48 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That's a really bad start for the half for Bednarek. His head has collided with the body of a Senegal forward and he might have jarred his neck... or at least taking a whack to the jaw. He's up and back ready to play though. 5:05PM KICK OFF 2 And we're back! Substitution for Poland though. Blaszczykowski hasn't made it out for the second half and Bednarek has replaced him. 5:03PM Gueye's goal / Cionek's own goal Credit: REUTERS Give it to the attacking player I say. Without the shot there wouldn't have been a goal! 4:59PM Bilic is great chat today "4-4-2 is back in business - Atletico, Monaco - but then at least you have one of the wingers if not both midfielders who go inside and the full-backs doing that (flying high up the wing) but none of the teams are doing that. It's two vs two." "It's easy to read," says Henrik Larsson. 4:57PM Slaven Bilic on the match "It's easy to explain why this is a boring game. Both teams play the same system so they cancel each other out. So in this kind of game a goal comes from a mistake or transition, it's like a mirror. The only players changing positions are Niang and Mane, it's very predictable." 4:55PM No shots on target by either side Poland vs Senegal shots on goal 4:49PM HALF TIME A deserved lead for Senegal and there is work to do for Poland here. They've been outclassed and need to bring a lot more to the table if they're going to get anything out of this. Average touch positions (45 + 1 min) 4:46PM 44 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland look a little pedestrian here. Credit: AFP Senegal in control of possession, taking their time, winning aerial duels, following up second balls with urgency and keeping cool. 4:44PM 42 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Sarr speeds past Rybus like a shooting star and wins a corner. It's curled out, to the six yard box and SANE IS THERE! Oh that's a bad miss! The cross has hit the penalty area and the defender has headed down into the ground and bounced the ball over the bar. That should be 2-0. 4:42PM 40 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That goal's going to count as an own goal apparently because Gueye's shot was heading wide. That sucks. Senegal are really impressive here, I wonder if Poland underestimated them a little bit. They're playing with a lot of energy and freedom but look really well drilled defensively and Poland can't get near them. 4:39PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! GUEYE HAS SCORED! Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Idrissa Gueye, 37 min) Great attack by Senegal but Poland's defending is dreadful here! Mane looks like he's going to hit it, passes it to his right and Gueye has space. He lines up the shot, fires it low and it takes a BIG deflection off Cionek and wrong-foots the goalkeeper. Senegal have the lead! 4:38PM 36 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Blaszczkowski is struggling a little bit after riding a tackle on the edge of the Senegal box but appears to be OK for now. 4:36PM 34 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Sarr controls a long switched pas son his chest beautifully, runs down the right and crosses in low... but a defender stabs it away. Senegal keep up the pressure, the ball comes in from the right again and Diouf attacks! But he can't get enough on his header, the centre-backs clear their lines and there was an offside in the buildup anyway. 4:34PM 32 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Nothing too much happening at the moment. The ball is mostly at halfway with no particular team really in control of it. Both looking to attack but losing the ball too early to do anything with it. 4:32PM 30 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Rybus runs in behind the Senegal back line but the goalkeeper comes out to claim before it becomes a problem. 4:30PM 28 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal probe the final third, keep up the high press but Poland go past it really easily and the break should be on! But as they try to come out of their own half it becomes apparent that absolutely nobody is high enough up the pitch to pass to and Senegal easily absorb the counter. 4:27PM 26 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 You can see the different approaches in this graphics: Possession: Poland vs Senegal Poland keeping more of the ball but doing it in safer positions. Senegal a little more direct and attacking the wings. Poland vs Senegal 4:25PM 24 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Credit: AFP Must be an awful pain making sure these guys are always standing in the right order. Lewandowski has tried a hopeful attempt at a volley, while off balance, from 20 yards but puts it harmlessly behind. 4:24PM 23 mins -Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal are holding their defensive shape (4-4-2) well here to deny Poland space to pass into. Poland are doing exactly the same thing, mind. 4:22PM 21 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland get up the pitch and look to have a decent chance to get the ball in the box here. It's chipped in, Milik throws himself at it and heads over. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Kamil Grosicki, 20 min) 4:21PM 19 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 All of a sudden Senegal are in! It's another quick attack, they dribble past players before making a forward pass but the shot inside the box is dragged wide. 4:18PM 16 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland attack quickly and win a corner but Senegal defend their box well and get it away, then win a throw. Senegal wait at half way to steal the ball and Sarr then goes on a dribble into the area, falls under close attention and makes an ambitious attempt at claiming a penalty. Never ever. 4:15PM 14 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Krychowiak fouls one player then lunges into another and has been booked for the first infringement. It was like he was determined to get booked there! Senegal have a free-kick about 30 yards - probably too far to shoot - but it looks like they're considering it. Sane steps up... and that's awful. He tries a knuckleball effort off the side of his foot but basically passes it out for a goal kick. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Salif Sané, 13 min) 4:13PM 11 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland are a 4-4-1-1 at the moment with Krychowiak doing a man-marking job on Mane whenever Senegal get forward on the ball. Mane puts in a great wee pass to the box but Cionek reads it well and shields until the goalkeeper can claim. 4:10PM 9 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 McCoist has pointed out the strategy at set pieces seems to be that Senegal put all their attacking players in the same position so that when they split, it's really difficult to pick up a man and stop them getting a head on any crosses into the box. Credit: FIFA Senegal have started well here. Poland seem measured and patient whereas Senegal are direct and taking the game to them. 4:08PM 7 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 According to Ally McCoist on co-comms, Senegal are heavily outnumbered in the crowd. "There are little pockets of fans but that's it" he says. Senegal win a corner, the centre-backs come forward for it. Niang prepares to take the kick... but it's cleared at the near post. 4:07PM 5 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland now keeping the ball and working forward well. Senegal have to be alert to defend as the ball is moved into the box but win possession and again come out from the back. 4:04PM 2 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal drop deep to defend a Poland attack but break into an attacking shape really quickly... then calmly pass their way out from the back. 4:02PM KICK OFF And we're off! 4:01PM National anthems done Credit: FIFA Nothing overly emotional in the national anthems and now, after ANOTHER betting advert, it's time for lovely fitba. I can't help but feel this lady is being rather presumptive. She could look quite the fool at the final whistle if Senegal turn up here today. Credit: OFFSIDE 3:55PM Here come the players 3:50PM Senegal's manager “I am certain that one day an African country will win the World Cup." Not my words, but those of Aliou Cisse, Senegal's manager and a man who really does think Senegal are in the running to do something special in this tournament. 3:47PM The last game of the first round How are you doing at Fantasy Football? The first round of games is over and if you're like me, you only have a few substitutions left to make. In my pre-tournament selection I really thought Senegal would do well here and I'm excited to see how Mane and co get on. There have been some big shocks already - Japan earlier was another! - but we're noticing some real trends. Most goals seem to come from set pieces and particularly penalties, with our old friends VAR helping out a lot. Correct decisions often mean more fouls which means more goals. 3:32PM Patrice Evra on Senegal "Don't forget about Koulibaly. Sarri made him improve a lot, he's really cool with the ball and is a massive asset for them." 3:30PM Slaven Bilic likes the look of Senegal The ITV panel are discussing how good Senegal might be. "They have something different," is Bilic's take on it. 3:27PM The World Cup in pictures This is lovely wee gallery to have a look through: Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 3:17PM Jamie Carragher on England last night Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama Our expert columnist has had his say on Raheem Sterling vs Marcus Rashford. 3:14PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 3:02PM Poland players inspecting the pitch There they are. Looking for holes and trying to find any bits of the pitch that will make the ball go super fast. 3:00PM Starting lineups Poland Szczesny, Pazdan, Cionek, Milik, Lewandowski, Krychowiak, Grosicki, Rybus, Blaszczykowski, Zielinski, Pirszczek Senegal KH. Ndiaye; Koulibaly, Gana, Sane, Diouf, Mane, Sabaly, A. Ndiaye, Ismaila, Niang, M. Wague 2:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Spartak Stadium We're in Moscow this afternoon/evening at what is usually Spartak Moscow's stadium. It looks a little something like this: Credit: GETTY IMAGES A bit like a multiplex cinema at a seaside resort. 2:43PM Senegal fans! Credit: TASS This is the first Senegal strip or flag I've seen in any of the pre-match build up photographs. Love that Senegal kit. 2:34PM What to expect from today Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Poland and Senegal's first match of the 2018 World Cup! It's a tough one to call and both teams might fancy their chances of getting all three points today - both have some really talented players and are capable of causing damage! Poland's best ever performance at the World Cup was in 1986 when they reached the semi-final: World Cup record: Poland Robert Lewandowski is by far their best player and at 29, is at peak age for a striker. This will surely be his last World Cup as one of the planet's greatest forwards though and Poland must ensure they give him enough ammunition to get every ounce of attacking talent squeezed out of him That's not to say Poland aren't decent elsewhere. Wijciech Szczesny has turned into an excellent goalkeeper, Kamil Glik won Ligue 1 with Monaco not long ago and Arkadiusz Milik has high potential. He currently plays for Napoli and big things are expected. World Cup record: Senegal Senegal's history in the competition isn't quite as impressive and aside from that brief 2002 foray to the quarter-finals, they haven't been anywhere near it. There are some great players in the current side though - Kalidou Koulibaly is a great defender, Idrissa Gueye is like a lesser-known N'Golo Kante and you might be rather familiar with Sadio Mane. There's a lot of creativity, some midfield steel and a lot of pace in this team but Poland will be aware of it. I'd imagine Poland will look to contain the game, attack down the wings and hook crosses in for Lewandowski but will defend deep and deny space for the likes of Mane and Keita Balde to exploit on the counter. Team news will be with us very shortly so make sure you stick around to get all the updates, buildup and analysis you could possibly need. And as if this game wasn't already interesting, at the moment it looks like the unfancied Japan are about to do a number on Colombia! They're winning 2-1 with a man advantage just now - this could flip the outcome of the group.
The Senegalese players and fans were celebrating with all the gusto that you might expect for one of the greatest results in their history but it was the contrast with their manager, Aliou Cisse, which felt most significant. He simply strolled towards the beaten Poland manager Adam Nawalka and offered his hand, before calmly heading towards the tunnel in the most business-like of ways. Yes, he did reappear a few moments later to acknowledge, with a tap towards his heart, those Senegalese fans who were joyously dancing in the aisles but the overall message was clear. In Cisse’s mind, this was no great surprise and he is planning for Senegal’s World Cup to be about much more than simply becoming the first African team to win so far this summer in Russia following defeats already for Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Tunisia. “We managed to control the game tactically and emotionally - that is very important,” said Cisse. “We are not too euphoric; we have highs, lows and we are not going to jump up and down. We need to stay humble.” Such measured leadership should not be mistaken for a lack of emotion. Cisse broke down in front of his squad earlier in the week, such was the importance for him of again leading his country on world football’s biggest stage after he had previously been the captain when they reached the 2002 quarter-final. The only black manager in the tournament, he is also continuing to serve as a wonderful example to other emerging African coaches. “Senegal are proud to represent the whole continent,” he said. Good planning, tactical discipline, the presence of Sadio Mane and two fairly freakish goals ultimately settled this for Senegal. Senegal coach Aliou Cisse played in the country's 2002 World Cup team, where they reached the quarter-finals Credit: AP The first deflected off both Michal Pazdam and Thiago Cionek before going in, while the second was controversially gifted to Mbaye Niang. The Senegal striker had left the pitch for treatment and was then waved on by the fourth official just as Grzegorz Krychowiak hooked a ball back to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Niang sprinted on from the side of the pitch and reached the ball ahead of Szczesny, who had left his goal in an attempt to negate the danger, before tapping the ball into an empty net. Niang later stressed that the need for treatment had been genuine and his intention innocent but it had clearly caught Poland unaware. “Wojciech tried to save the situation,” said Nawalka. “We were very surprised. The players thought a substitute was coming on and that is why there was a big misunderstanding.” On the very same pitch as Lionel Messi so struggled against Iceland to make a decisive contribution, Mane had earlier been influential. He started on the left but, while Messi played just about the entire 90 minutes on Saturday in the area between Iceland’s midfield and defence, the Liverpool winger really magnified his own threat with his movement. There were several eye-catching passes and dribbles but it was his work off the ball that was just as impressive, especially once Poland seized control of possession during the second half. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players After Robert Lewandowski had forced a good save of Khadim N’Diaye with a free-kick, an excellent header by Krychowiak did briefly give Poland some hope. Nawalka, though, would make no attempt to hide the earlier deficiencies and effectively singled out the entire midfield for criticism. “There have been many bad elements,” he said. “The wingers didn’t do a good job and, in the centre, we didn’t do well either. Two goals following our mistakes was something we were very unhappy with. In the first half we did not play. The second half was better but too little.” World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 6:24PM Some stats for you Senegal have won 50% of their World Cup matches (3/6), the best win rate of any African nation in the competition. All three of Senegal’s World Cup wins have been against European nations (France, Sweden and Poland). Poland have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986. Poland have lost seven of their last nine World Cup matches (W2), failing to score in six of those losses. Poland are the first nation to make two errors leading to a goal in a single World Cup match so far in 2018. 6:03PM Goal controversy Slaven Bilic: "For me the referee makes a mistake, Krychowiak makes a mistake, Bednarek makes a mistake". Henrik Larsson: "I think the referee's read it very poorly there. Although the ball is in Poland's control, Bednarek doesn't see what's happening, Szczesny does but he sees it too late." 6:01PM Patrice Evra delighted I'm happy! Thank you to all the Senegal players, nobody expects them to win, no other African team has won. They played for the pride, we have to congratulate the manager, it's a good day. 5:59PM Next up The last game of today is Russia vs Egypt! Will Mo Salah make a big appearance? Will home support drive Russia onto another blockbusting performance? You can follow all the action with Alan Tyers in our liveblog here. 5:56PM Krychowiak's goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's a great photo! You can see Krychowiak beating the centre-backs to the ball. 5:54PM FULL TIME That's it! Senegal deserved the points and put on a superb performance here. They attacked with pace and purpose, created chances, coutner-attacked well and were really well drilled in defence. Poland, by way of comparison, offered hardly anything of note and were well beaten. 5:53PM 90 mins +4 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Do Poland have anything left in them? They're running out of time. But it's Senegal who are close scoring as Mane has a header in space inside the box! He cushions a header back across goal and the chance is gone, Poland get it up the pitch and are looking to get the ball into the box now. It's way more direct and now they're causing Senegal problems. 5:51PM 90 mins +2 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 The crowd are getting excited! Krychowiak is trying to win space to shoot in the box, waits, waits, waits... wins a corner. Up come the big lads... but it's a great claim by the goalkeeper. He plucks the ball out of the air and then humps the ball a mile down the pitch. 5:50PM 90 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Mane turns Cionek inside out on the left wing and earns himself a corner. Great play. It's swung in... but the referee has spotted a foul in the box and it's a free-kick. 5:48PM 88 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Well this is a lot better now. The crowd is alive, Poland are getting everyone forward. "Just get it in the box!" says an exasperated McCoist. "That's how you got your goal!" he offers, as Poland keep up the short passing. 5:46PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! POLAND ARE BACK IN IT! Poland 1 - 2 Senegal (Grzegorz Krychowiak, 86 min) A free-kick from distance is crossed into the box and Krychowiak jumps to power the header past the goalkeeper! But the VAR is checking for offside. It must be a goal... The goal stands! Brilliant header and free-kick from Poland. 5:45PM 85 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 The VAR are checking this decision! It could be a penalty... but VAR say no. Oooooh that would have been a story. 5:44PM 84 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Final sub for Poland. Piszczek off, Bereszynski on. Sarr attacks the right wing, is tackled and stays down... so Poland get the ball up the other end of the pitch. Sarr stays down for ages with a mysterious injury and the referee stops the game... but it turns out, miraculously, that Sarr is fine. The referee gestures from 50 yards for him to get up. He does.... and SARR IS IN! He's gone down in the penalty area and this could be a foul! The Poland players are FURIOUS with him! 5:42PM 82 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Possession: Poland vs Senegal Whenever Senegal get the ball they move it quickly with purpose. When they lose it they drop back and defend in numbers, ready to counter attack. There's nothing on show that suggests Poland are even bothered about the score staying like this. 5:40PM 80 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 "Just do something different to try and change the game!" McCoist says. Poland put a cross in from wide left which Kownacki heads into the ground. The atmosphere is fairly calm... but Poland are 10 minutes away from a big defeat! Where's the urgency? 5:38PM 78 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: FIFA Ally McCoist's getting wound up by the lack of adventure being shown by Poland. The fans are getting on their backs too. That makes a change from the general sound of apathy. You can actually hear it. 5:36PM 76 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Poland chip hopeful balls forward and Senegal have absolutely no problem dealing with it. Where is the imagination in this Poland team? 5:34PM 74 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Kownacki on, Milik off. He sprints over to the subs bench. 5:32PM 72 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 MILIK! That's very close. He makes a run to the near post to attack a cross from wide right but pokes it wide of the goal. Better from Poland. The game's a bit scrappy now. Gueye is booked for a late one on Krychowiak, both teams are swapping possession around the halfway line. Still Senegal look the more confident and hungry of the two. 5:29PM 70 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES And this is Krychowiak's pass which led to the goal. Poland are horrible here today. No invention, no speed, no tempo to the passes - Senegal have got their number. 5:27PM 68 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the moment Niang poked the ball beyond Szczesny for his goal. 5:26PM 66 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Great control by Sabaly. He wants the ball more than Piszczcek and steals it from him in the air, sprinting down the left wing until he hits a dead end. Senegal sitting back in a deeper shape now waiting to counter-attack Poland, who have to get more men forward now if they want to score. 5:23PM 63 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Diouf is subbed for Ndoye. Poland are raging about that goal because Niang had just come back on the pitch are leaving because he was 'injured'. It's a defensive error though - no point in blaming anyone but themselves for that error. 5:20PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! IT'S 2-0! OUT OF NOWHERE! Poland 0 - 2 Senegal (M'Baye Niang, 60 min) Krychowiak passes back to the goalkeeper but it's awful! Niang chases, Szczesny comes flying off his line way too early and the centre-back doesn't intercept.... and Niang is in! He pokes it past the goalie and then taps into an empty net! That's his first ever international goal! 5:20PM 60 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Niang goes down after contesting a header but Poland play on. Diouf is furious about it and goes charging into Krychowiak, fouling him to stop the game. Just for a second it looks like things might bubble over but heads cool as the referee calms them down. Incidentally, Niang is absolutely fine. 5:18PM 58 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland attack down the left and cross to the back post and Piszcek arrives! His effort is poor. "He didn't believe it," says McCoist as we watch the replay of that one. Poor from the Poland right-back. Miss: Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Lukasz Piszczek, 56 min) 5:15PM 56 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland vs Senegal When the average positions stats look like that it helps explain why a game might not be captivating. It's been exciting in flashes but a lot of the game has been played in midfield. 5:14PM 54 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 A quick attack down the left wing for Senegal gets Sabaly in at goal. He pulls the ball back across the box but Mane can't turn it at goal and his shot is blocked. Credit: AP Senegal have the ball in the final third, Mane switches play, the cross is whipped in from wide right and a striker swings a foot at it! He's missed the ball! If that had connected it could well have flown into the back of the net. 5:11PM 52 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Lewandowski takes the free-kick... and it's a strong save by N'Diaye at the far post. Poland have upped the tempo now and look much better than they were in the first half. 5:09PM 50 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland might have changed to 3-5-1-1 for this half. The three centre-backs should be able to nullify the Senegal front two, and that helps wing-backs get higher up the pitch to lend service to Lewandowski. Great play by Lewandowski! He steals the ball at half way, breaks away and Sane brings him down before he gets to the box. It's a clear booking and now Poland have a great free-kick opportunity. 5:07PM 48 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That's a really bad start for the half for Bednarek. His head has collided with the body of a Senegal forward and he might have jarred his neck... or at least taking a whack to the jaw. He's up and back ready to play though. 5:05PM KICK OFF 2 And we're back! Substitution for Poland though. Blaszczykowski hasn't made it out for the second half and Bednarek has replaced him. 5:03PM Gueye's goal / Cionek's own goal Credit: REUTERS Give it to the attacking player I say. Without the shot there wouldn't have been a goal! 4:59PM Bilic is great chat today "4-4-2 is back in business - Atletico, Monaco - but then at least you have one of the wingers if not both midfielders who go inside and the full-backs doing that (flying high up the wing) but none of the teams are doing that. It's two vs two." "It's easy to read," says Henrik Larsson. 4:57PM Slaven Bilic on the match "It's easy to explain why this is a boring game. Both teams play the same system so they cancel each other out. So in this kind of game a goal comes from a mistake or transition, it's like a mirror. The only players changing positions are Niang and Mane, it's very predictable." 4:55PM No shots on target by either side Poland vs Senegal shots on goal 4:49PM HALF TIME A deserved lead for Senegal and there is work to do for Poland here. They've been outclassed and need to bring a lot more to the table if they're going to get anything out of this. Average touch positions (45 + 1 min) 4:46PM 44 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland look a little pedestrian here. Credit: AFP Senegal in control of possession, taking their time, winning aerial duels, following up second balls with urgency and keeping cool. 4:44PM 42 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Sarr speeds past Rybus like a shooting star and wins a corner. It's curled out, to the six yard box and SANE IS THERE! Oh that's a bad miss! The cross has hit the penalty area and the defender has headed down into the ground and bounced the ball over the bar. That should be 2-0. 4:42PM 40 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That goal's going to count as an own goal apparently because Gueye's shot was heading wide. That sucks. Senegal are really impressive here, I wonder if Poland underestimated them a little bit. They're playing with a lot of energy and freedom but look really well drilled defensively and Poland can't get near them. 4:39PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! GUEYE HAS SCORED! Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Idrissa Gueye, 37 min) Great attack by Senegal but Poland's defending is dreadful here! Mane looks like he's going to hit it, passes it to his right and Gueye has space. He lines up the shot, fires it low and it takes a BIG deflection off Cionek and wrong-foots the goalkeeper. Senegal have the lead! 4:38PM 36 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Blaszczkowski is struggling a little bit after riding a tackle on the edge of the Senegal box but appears to be OK for now. 4:36PM 34 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Sarr controls a long switched pas son his chest beautifully, runs down the right and crosses in low... but a defender stabs it away. Senegal keep up the pressure, the ball comes in from the right again and Diouf attacks! But he can't get enough on his header, the centre-backs clear their lines and there was an offside in the buildup anyway. 4:34PM 32 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Nothing too much happening at the moment. The ball is mostly at halfway with no particular team really in control of it. Both looking to attack but losing the ball too early to do anything with it. 4:32PM 30 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Rybus runs in behind the Senegal back line but the goalkeeper comes out to claim before it becomes a problem. 4:30PM 28 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal probe the final third, keep up the high press but Poland go past it really easily and the break should be on! But as they try to come out of their own half it becomes apparent that absolutely nobody is high enough up the pitch to pass to and Senegal easily absorb the counter. 4:27PM 26 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 You can see the different approaches in this graphics: Possession: Poland vs Senegal Poland keeping more of the ball but doing it in safer positions. Senegal a little more direct and attacking the wings. Poland vs Senegal 4:25PM 24 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Credit: AFP Must be an awful pain making sure these guys are always standing in the right order. Lewandowski has tried a hopeful attempt at a volley, while off balance, from 20 yards but puts it harmlessly behind. 4:24PM 23 mins -Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal are holding their defensive shape (4-4-2) well here to deny Poland space to pass into. Poland are doing exactly the same thing, mind. 4:22PM 21 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland get up the pitch and look to have a decent chance to get the ball in the box here. It's chipped in, Milik throws himself at it and heads over. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Kamil Grosicki, 20 min) 4:21PM 19 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 All of a sudden Senegal are in! It's another quick attack, they dribble past players before making a forward pass but the shot inside the box is dragged wide. 4:18PM 16 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland attack quickly and win a corner but Senegal defend their box well and get it away, then win a throw. Senegal wait at half way to steal the ball and Sarr then goes on a dribble into the area, falls under close attention and makes an ambitious attempt at claiming a penalty. Never ever. 4:15PM 14 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Krychowiak fouls one player then lunges into another and has been booked for the first infringement. It was like he was determined to get booked there! Senegal have a free-kick about 30 yards - probably too far to shoot - but it looks like they're considering it. Sane steps up... and that's awful. He tries a knuckleball effort off the side of his foot but basically passes it out for a goal kick. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Salif Sané, 13 min) 4:13PM 11 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland are a 4-4-1-1 at the moment with Krychowiak doing a man-marking job on Mane whenever Senegal get forward on the ball. Mane puts in a great wee pass to the box but Cionek reads it well and shields until the goalkeeper can claim. 4:10PM 9 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 McCoist has pointed out the strategy at set pieces seems to be that Senegal put all their attacking players in the same position so that when they split, it's really difficult to pick up a man and stop them getting a head on any crosses into the box. Credit: FIFA Senegal have started well here. Poland seem measured and patient whereas Senegal are direct and taking the game to them. 4:08PM 7 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 According to Ally McCoist on co-comms, Senegal are heavily outnumbered in the crowd. "There are little pockets of fans but that's it" he says. Senegal win a corner, the centre-backs come forward for it. Niang prepares to take the kick... but it's cleared at the near post. 4:07PM 5 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland now keeping the ball and working forward well. Senegal have to be alert to defend as the ball is moved into the box but win possession and again come out from the back. 4:04PM 2 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal drop deep to defend a Poland attack but break into an attacking shape really quickly... then calmly pass their way out from the back. 4:02PM KICK OFF And we're off! 4:01PM National anthems done Credit: FIFA Nothing overly emotional in the national anthems and now, after ANOTHER betting advert, it's time for lovely fitba. I can't help but feel this lady is being rather presumptive. She could look quite the fool at the final whistle if Senegal turn up here today. Credit: OFFSIDE 3:55PM Here come the players 3:50PM Senegal's manager “I am certain that one day an African country will win the World Cup." Not my words, but those of Aliou Cisse, Senegal's manager and a man who really does think Senegal are in the running to do something special in this tournament. 3:47PM The last game of the first round How are you doing at Fantasy Football? The first round of games is over and if you're like me, you only have a few substitutions left to make. In my pre-tournament selection I really thought Senegal would do well here and I'm excited to see how Mane and co get on. There have been some big shocks already - Japan earlier was another! - but we're noticing some real trends. Most goals seem to come from set pieces and particularly penalties, with our old friends VAR helping out a lot. Correct decisions often mean more fouls which means more goals. 3:32PM Patrice Evra on Senegal "Don't forget about Koulibaly. Sarri made him improve a lot, he's really cool with the ball and is a massive asset for them." 3:30PM Slaven Bilic likes the look of Senegal The ITV panel are discussing how good Senegal might be. "They have something different," is Bilic's take on it. 3:27PM The World Cup in pictures This is lovely wee gallery to have a look through: Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 3:17PM Jamie Carragher on England last night Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama Our expert columnist has had his say on Raheem Sterling vs Marcus Rashford. 3:14PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 3:02PM Poland players inspecting the pitch There they are. Looking for holes and trying to find any bits of the pitch that will make the ball go super fast. 3:00PM Starting lineups Poland Szczesny, Pazdan, Cionek, Milik, Lewandowski, Krychowiak, Grosicki, Rybus, Blaszczykowski, Zielinski, Pirszczek Senegal KH. Ndiaye; Koulibaly, Gana, Sane, Diouf, Mane, Sabaly, A. Ndiaye, Ismaila, Niang, M. Wague 2:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Spartak Stadium We're in Moscow this afternoon/evening at what is usually Spartak Moscow's stadium. It looks a little something like this: Credit: GETTY IMAGES A bit like a multiplex cinema at a seaside resort. 2:43PM Senegal fans! Credit: TASS This is the first Senegal strip or flag I've seen in any of the pre-match build up photographs. Love that Senegal kit. 2:34PM What to expect from today Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Poland and Senegal's first match of the 2018 World Cup! It's a tough one to call and both teams might fancy their chances of getting all three points today - both have some really talented players and are capable of causing damage! Poland's best ever performance at the World Cup was in 1986 when they reached the semi-final: World Cup record: Poland Robert Lewandowski is by far their best player and at 29, is at peak age for a striker. This will surely be his last World Cup as one of the planet's greatest forwards though and Poland must ensure they give him enough ammunition to get every ounce of attacking talent squeezed out of him That's not to say Poland aren't decent elsewhere. Wijciech Szczesny has turned into an excellent goalkeeper, Kamil Glik won Ligue 1 with Monaco not long ago and Arkadiusz Milik has high potential. He currently plays for Napoli and big things are expected. World Cup record: Senegal Senegal's history in the competition isn't quite as impressive and aside from that brief 2002 foray to the quarter-finals, they haven't been anywhere near it. There are some great players in the current side though - Kalidou Koulibaly is a great defender, Idrissa Gueye is like a lesser-known N'Golo Kante and you might be rather familiar with Sadio Mane. There's a lot of creativity, some midfield steel and a lot of pace in this team but Poland will be aware of it. I'd imagine Poland will look to contain the game, attack down the wings and hook crosses in for Lewandowski but will defend deep and deny space for the likes of Mane and Keita Balde to exploit on the counter. Team news will be with us very shortly so make sure you stick around to get all the updates, buildup and analysis you could possibly need. And as if this game wasn't already interesting, at the moment it looks like the unfancied Japan are about to do a number on Colombia! They're winning 2-1 with a man advantage just now - this could flip the outcome of the group.
Senegal survive late Poland onslaught to throw Group H wide open
The Senegalese players and fans were celebrating with all the gusto that you might expect for one of the greatest results in their history but it was the contrast with their manager, Aliou Cisse, which felt most significant. He simply strolled towards the beaten Poland manager Adam Nawalka and offered his hand, before calmly heading towards the tunnel in the most business-like of ways. Yes, he did reappear a few moments later to acknowledge, with a tap towards his heart, those Senegalese fans who were joyously dancing in the aisles but the overall message was clear. In Cisse’s mind, this was no great surprise and he is planning for Senegal’s World Cup to be about much more than simply becoming the first African team to win so far this summer in Russia following defeats already for Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Tunisia. “We managed to control the game tactically and emotionally - that is very important,” said Cisse. “We are not too euphoric; we have highs, lows and we are not going to jump up and down. We need to stay humble.” Such measured leadership should not be mistaken for a lack of emotion. Cisse broke down in front of his squad earlier in the week, such was the importance for him of again leading his country on world football’s biggest stage after he had previously been the captain when they reached the 2002 quarter-final. The only black manager in the tournament, he is also continuing to serve as a wonderful example to other emerging African coaches. “Senegal are proud to represent the whole continent,” he said. Good planning, tactical discipline, the presence of Sadio Mane and two fairly freakish goals ultimately settled this for Senegal. Senegal coach Aliou Cisse played in the country's 2002 World Cup team, where they reached the quarter-finals Credit: AP The first deflected off both Michal Pazdam and Thiago Cionek before going in, while the second was controversially gifted to Mbaye Niang. The Senegal striker had left the pitch for treatment and was then waved on by the fourth official just as Grzegorz Krychowiak hooked a ball back to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Niang sprinted on from the side of the pitch and reached the ball ahead of Szczesny, who had left his goal in an attempt to negate the danger, before tapping the ball into an empty net. Niang later stressed that the need for treatment had been genuine and his intention innocent but it had clearly caught Poland unaware. “Wojciech tried to save the situation,” said Nawalka. “We were very surprised. The players thought a substitute was coming on and that is why there was a big misunderstanding.” On the very same pitch as Lionel Messi so struggled against Iceland to make a decisive contribution, Mane had earlier been influential. He started on the left but, while Messi played just about the entire 90 minutes on Saturday in the area between Iceland’s midfield and defence, the Liverpool winger really magnified his own threat with his movement. There were several eye-catching passes and dribbles but it was his work off the ball that was just as impressive, especially once Poland seized control of possession during the second half. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players After Robert Lewandowski had forced a good save of Khadim N’Diaye with a free-kick, an excellent header by Krychowiak did briefly give Poland some hope. Nawalka, though, would make no attempt to hide the earlier deficiencies and effectively singled out the entire midfield for criticism. “There have been many bad elements,” he said. “The wingers didn’t do a good job and, in the centre, we didn’t do well either. Two goals following our mistakes was something we were very unhappy with. In the first half we did not play. The second half was better but too little.” World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 6:24PM Some stats for you Senegal have won 50% of their World Cup matches (3/6), the best win rate of any African nation in the competition. All three of Senegal’s World Cup wins have been against European nations (France, Sweden and Poland). Poland have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986. Poland have lost seven of their last nine World Cup matches (W2), failing to score in six of those losses. Poland are the first nation to make two errors leading to a goal in a single World Cup match so far in 2018. 6:03PM Goal controversy Slaven Bilic: "For me the referee makes a mistake, Krychowiak makes a mistake, Bednarek makes a mistake". Henrik Larsson: "I think the referee's read it very poorly there. Although the ball is in Poland's control, Bednarek doesn't see what's happening, Szczesny does but he sees it too late." 6:01PM Patrice Evra delighted I'm happy! Thank you to all the Senegal players, nobody expects them to win, no other African team has won. They played for the pride, we have to congratulate the manager, it's a good day. 5:59PM Next up The last game of today is Russia vs Egypt! Will Mo Salah make a big appearance? Will home support drive Russia onto another blockbusting performance? You can follow all the action with Alan Tyers in our liveblog here. 5:56PM Krychowiak's goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's a great photo! You can see Krychowiak beating the centre-backs to the ball. 5:54PM FULL TIME That's it! Senegal deserved the points and put on a superb performance here. They attacked with pace and purpose, created chances, coutner-attacked well and were really well drilled in defence. Poland, by way of comparison, offered hardly anything of note and were well beaten. 5:53PM 90 mins +4 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Do Poland have anything left in them? They're running out of time. But it's Senegal who are close scoring as Mane has a header in space inside the box! He cushions a header back across goal and the chance is gone, Poland get it up the pitch and are looking to get the ball into the box now. It's way more direct and now they're causing Senegal problems. 5:51PM 90 mins +2 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 The crowd are getting excited! Krychowiak is trying to win space to shoot in the box, waits, waits, waits... wins a corner. Up come the big lads... but it's a great claim by the goalkeeper. He plucks the ball out of the air and then humps the ball a mile down the pitch. 5:50PM 90 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Mane turns Cionek inside out on the left wing and earns himself a corner. Great play. It's swung in... but the referee has spotted a foul in the box and it's a free-kick. 5:48PM 88 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Well this is a lot better now. The crowd is alive, Poland are getting everyone forward. "Just get it in the box!" says an exasperated McCoist. "That's how you got your goal!" he offers, as Poland keep up the short passing. 5:46PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! POLAND ARE BACK IN IT! Poland 1 - 2 Senegal (Grzegorz Krychowiak, 86 min) A free-kick from distance is crossed into the box and Krychowiak jumps to power the header past the goalkeeper! But the VAR is checking for offside. It must be a goal... The goal stands! Brilliant header and free-kick from Poland. 5:45PM 85 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 The VAR are checking this decision! It could be a penalty... but VAR say no. Oooooh that would have been a story. 5:44PM 84 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Final sub for Poland. Piszczek off, Bereszynski on. Sarr attacks the right wing, is tackled and stays down... so Poland get the ball up the other end of the pitch. Sarr stays down for ages with a mysterious injury and the referee stops the game... but it turns out, miraculously, that Sarr is fine. The referee gestures from 50 yards for him to get up. He does.... and SARR IS IN! He's gone down in the penalty area and this could be a foul! The Poland players are FURIOUS with him! 5:42PM 82 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Possession: Poland vs Senegal Whenever Senegal get the ball they move it quickly with purpose. When they lose it they drop back and defend in numbers, ready to counter attack. There's nothing on show that suggests Poland are even bothered about the score staying like this. 5:40PM 80 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 "Just do something different to try and change the game!" McCoist says. Poland put a cross in from wide left which Kownacki heads into the ground. The atmosphere is fairly calm... but Poland are 10 minutes away from a big defeat! Where's the urgency? 5:38PM 78 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: FIFA Ally McCoist's getting wound up by the lack of adventure being shown by Poland. The fans are getting on their backs too. That makes a change from the general sound of apathy. You can actually hear it. 5:36PM 76 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Poland chip hopeful balls forward and Senegal have absolutely no problem dealing with it. Where is the imagination in this Poland team? 5:34PM 74 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Kownacki on, Milik off. He sprints over to the subs bench. 5:32PM 72 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 MILIK! That's very close. He makes a run to the near post to attack a cross from wide right but pokes it wide of the goal. Better from Poland. The game's a bit scrappy now. Gueye is booked for a late one on Krychowiak, both teams are swapping possession around the halfway line. Still Senegal look the more confident and hungry of the two. 5:29PM 70 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES And this is Krychowiak's pass which led to the goal. Poland are horrible here today. No invention, no speed, no tempo to the passes - Senegal have got their number. 5:27PM 68 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the moment Niang poked the ball beyond Szczesny for his goal. 5:26PM 66 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Great control by Sabaly. He wants the ball more than Piszczcek and steals it from him in the air, sprinting down the left wing until he hits a dead end. Senegal sitting back in a deeper shape now waiting to counter-attack Poland, who have to get more men forward now if they want to score. 5:23PM 63 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Diouf is subbed for Ndoye. Poland are raging about that goal because Niang had just come back on the pitch are leaving because he was 'injured'. It's a defensive error though - no point in blaming anyone but themselves for that error. 5:20PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! IT'S 2-0! OUT OF NOWHERE! Poland 0 - 2 Senegal (M'Baye Niang, 60 min) Krychowiak passes back to the goalkeeper but it's awful! Niang chases, Szczesny comes flying off his line way too early and the centre-back doesn't intercept.... and Niang is in! He pokes it past the goalie and then taps into an empty net! That's his first ever international goal! 5:20PM 60 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Niang goes down after contesting a header but Poland play on. Diouf is furious about it and goes charging into Krychowiak, fouling him to stop the game. Just for a second it looks like things might bubble over but heads cool as the referee calms them down. Incidentally, Niang is absolutely fine. 5:18PM 58 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland attack down the left and cross to the back post and Piszcek arrives! His effort is poor. "He didn't believe it," says McCoist as we watch the replay of that one. Poor from the Poland right-back. Miss: Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Lukasz Piszczek, 56 min) 5:15PM 56 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland vs Senegal When the average positions stats look like that it helps explain why a game might not be captivating. It's been exciting in flashes but a lot of the game has been played in midfield. 5:14PM 54 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 A quick attack down the left wing for Senegal gets Sabaly in at goal. He pulls the ball back across the box but Mane can't turn it at goal and his shot is blocked. Credit: AP Senegal have the ball in the final third, Mane switches play, the cross is whipped in from wide right and a striker swings a foot at it! He's missed the ball! If that had connected it could well have flown into the back of the net. 5:11PM 52 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Lewandowski takes the free-kick... and it's a strong save by N'Diaye at the far post. Poland have upped the tempo now and look much better than they were in the first half. 5:09PM 50 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland might have changed to 3-5-1-1 for this half. The three centre-backs should be able to nullify the Senegal front two, and that helps wing-backs get higher up the pitch to lend service to Lewandowski. Great play by Lewandowski! He steals the ball at half way, breaks away and Sane brings him down before he gets to the box. It's a clear booking and now Poland have a great free-kick opportunity. 5:07PM 48 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That's a really bad start for the half for Bednarek. His head has collided with the body of a Senegal forward and he might have jarred his neck... or at least taking a whack to the jaw. He's up and back ready to play though. 5:05PM KICK OFF 2 And we're back! Substitution for Poland though. Blaszczykowski hasn't made it out for the second half and Bednarek has replaced him. 5:03PM Gueye's goal / Cionek's own goal Credit: REUTERS Give it to the attacking player I say. Without the shot there wouldn't have been a goal! 4:59PM Bilic is great chat today "4-4-2 is back in business - Atletico, Monaco - but then at least you have one of the wingers if not both midfielders who go inside and the full-backs doing that (flying high up the wing) but none of the teams are doing that. It's two vs two." "It's easy to read," says Henrik Larsson. 4:57PM Slaven Bilic on the match "It's easy to explain why this is a boring game. Both teams play the same system so they cancel each other out. So in this kind of game a goal comes from a mistake or transition, it's like a mirror. The only players changing positions are Niang and Mane, it's very predictable." 4:55PM No shots on target by either side Poland vs Senegal shots on goal 4:49PM HALF TIME A deserved lead for Senegal and there is work to do for Poland here. They've been outclassed and need to bring a lot more to the table if they're going to get anything out of this. Average touch positions (45 + 1 min) 4:46PM 44 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland look a little pedestrian here. Credit: AFP Senegal in control of possession, taking their time, winning aerial duels, following up second balls with urgency and keeping cool. 4:44PM 42 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Sarr speeds past Rybus like a shooting star and wins a corner. It's curled out, to the six yard box and SANE IS THERE! Oh that's a bad miss! The cross has hit the penalty area and the defender has headed down into the ground and bounced the ball over the bar. That should be 2-0. 4:42PM 40 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That goal's going to count as an own goal apparently because Gueye's shot was heading wide. That sucks. Senegal are really impressive here, I wonder if Poland underestimated them a little bit. They're playing with a lot of energy and freedom but look really well drilled defensively and Poland can't get near them. 4:39PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! GUEYE HAS SCORED! Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Idrissa Gueye, 37 min) Great attack by Senegal but Poland's defending is dreadful here! Mane looks like he's going to hit it, passes it to his right and Gueye has space. He lines up the shot, fires it low and it takes a BIG deflection off Cionek and wrong-foots the goalkeeper. Senegal have the lead! 4:38PM 36 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Blaszczkowski is struggling a little bit after riding a tackle on the edge of the Senegal box but appears to be OK for now. 4:36PM 34 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Sarr controls a long switched pas son his chest beautifully, runs down the right and crosses in low... but a defender stabs it away. Senegal keep up the pressure, the ball comes in from the right again and Diouf attacks! But he can't get enough on his header, the centre-backs clear their lines and there was an offside in the buildup anyway. 4:34PM 32 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Nothing too much happening at the moment. The ball is mostly at halfway with no particular team really in control of it. Both looking to attack but losing the ball too early to do anything with it. 4:32PM 30 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Rybus runs in behind the Senegal back line but the goalkeeper comes out to claim before it becomes a problem. 4:30PM 28 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal probe the final third, keep up the high press but Poland go past it really easily and the break should be on! But as they try to come out of their own half it becomes apparent that absolutely nobody is high enough up the pitch to pass to and Senegal easily absorb the counter. 4:27PM 26 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 You can see the different approaches in this graphics: Possession: Poland vs Senegal Poland keeping more of the ball but doing it in safer positions. Senegal a little more direct and attacking the wings. Poland vs Senegal 4:25PM 24 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Credit: AFP Must be an awful pain making sure these guys are always standing in the right order. Lewandowski has tried a hopeful attempt at a volley, while off balance, from 20 yards but puts it harmlessly behind. 4:24PM 23 mins -Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal are holding their defensive shape (4-4-2) well here to deny Poland space to pass into. Poland are doing exactly the same thing, mind. 4:22PM 21 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland get up the pitch and look to have a decent chance to get the ball in the box here. It's chipped in, Milik throws himself at it and heads over. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Kamil Grosicki, 20 min) 4:21PM 19 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 All of a sudden Senegal are in! It's another quick attack, they dribble past players before making a forward pass but the shot inside the box is dragged wide. 4:18PM 16 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland attack quickly and win a corner but Senegal defend their box well and get it away, then win a throw. Senegal wait at half way to steal the ball and Sarr then goes on a dribble into the area, falls under close attention and makes an ambitious attempt at claiming a penalty. Never ever. 4:15PM 14 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Krychowiak fouls one player then lunges into another and has been booked for the first infringement. It was like he was determined to get booked there! Senegal have a free-kick about 30 yards - probably too far to shoot - but it looks like they're considering it. Sane steps up... and that's awful. He tries a knuckleball effort off the side of his foot but basically passes it out for a goal kick. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Salif Sané, 13 min) 4:13PM 11 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland are a 4-4-1-1 at the moment with Krychowiak doing a man-marking job on Mane whenever Senegal get forward on the ball. Mane puts in a great wee pass to the box but Cionek reads it well and shields until the goalkeeper can claim. 4:10PM 9 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 McCoist has pointed out the strategy at set pieces seems to be that Senegal put all their attacking players in the same position so that when they split, it's really difficult to pick up a man and stop them getting a head on any crosses into the box. Credit: FIFA Senegal have started well here. Poland seem measured and patient whereas Senegal are direct and taking the game to them. 4:08PM 7 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 According to Ally McCoist on co-comms, Senegal are heavily outnumbered in the crowd. "There are little pockets of fans but that's it" he says. Senegal win a corner, the centre-backs come forward for it. Niang prepares to take the kick... but it's cleared at the near post. 4:07PM 5 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland now keeping the ball and working forward well. Senegal have to be alert to defend as the ball is moved into the box but win possession and again come out from the back. 4:04PM 2 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal drop deep to defend a Poland attack but break into an attacking shape really quickly... then calmly pass their way out from the back. 4:02PM KICK OFF And we're off! 4:01PM National anthems done Credit: FIFA Nothing overly emotional in the national anthems and now, after ANOTHER betting advert, it's time for lovely fitba. I can't help but feel this lady is being rather presumptive. She could look quite the fool at the final whistle if Senegal turn up here today. Credit: OFFSIDE 3:55PM Here come the players 3:50PM Senegal's manager “I am certain that one day an African country will win the World Cup." Not my words, but those of Aliou Cisse, Senegal's manager and a man who really does think Senegal are in the running to do something special in this tournament. 3:47PM The last game of the first round How are you doing at Fantasy Football? The first round of games is over and if you're like me, you only have a few substitutions left to make. In my pre-tournament selection I really thought Senegal would do well here and I'm excited to see how Mane and co get on. There have been some big shocks already - Japan earlier was another! - but we're noticing some real trends. Most goals seem to come from set pieces and particularly penalties, with our old friends VAR helping out a lot. Correct decisions often mean more fouls which means more goals. 3:32PM Patrice Evra on Senegal "Don't forget about Koulibaly. Sarri made him improve a lot, he's really cool with the ball and is a massive asset for them." 3:30PM Slaven Bilic likes the look of Senegal The ITV panel are discussing how good Senegal might be. "They have something different," is Bilic's take on it. 3:27PM The World Cup in pictures This is lovely wee gallery to have a look through: Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 3:17PM Jamie Carragher on England last night Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama Our expert columnist has had his say on Raheem Sterling vs Marcus Rashford. 3:14PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 3:02PM Poland players inspecting the pitch There they are. Looking for holes and trying to find any bits of the pitch that will make the ball go super fast. 3:00PM Starting lineups Poland Szczesny, Pazdan, Cionek, Milik, Lewandowski, Krychowiak, Grosicki, Rybus, Blaszczykowski, Zielinski, Pirszczek Senegal KH. Ndiaye; Koulibaly, Gana, Sane, Diouf, Mane, Sabaly, A. Ndiaye, Ismaila, Niang, M. Wague 2:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Spartak Stadium We're in Moscow this afternoon/evening at what is usually Spartak Moscow's stadium. It looks a little something like this: Credit: GETTY IMAGES A bit like a multiplex cinema at a seaside resort. 2:43PM Senegal fans! Credit: TASS This is the first Senegal strip or flag I've seen in any of the pre-match build up photographs. Love that Senegal kit. 2:34PM What to expect from today Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Poland and Senegal's first match of the 2018 World Cup! It's a tough one to call and both teams might fancy their chances of getting all three points today - both have some really talented players and are capable of causing damage! Poland's best ever performance at the World Cup was in 1986 when they reached the semi-final: World Cup record: Poland Robert Lewandowski is by far their best player and at 29, is at peak age for a striker. This will surely be his last World Cup as one of the planet's greatest forwards though and Poland must ensure they give him enough ammunition to get every ounce of attacking talent squeezed out of him That's not to say Poland aren't decent elsewhere. Wijciech Szczesny has turned into an excellent goalkeeper, Kamil Glik won Ligue 1 with Monaco not long ago and Arkadiusz Milik has high potential. He currently plays for Napoli and big things are expected. World Cup record: Senegal Senegal's history in the competition isn't quite as impressive and aside from that brief 2002 foray to the quarter-finals, they haven't been anywhere near it. There are some great players in the current side though - Kalidou Koulibaly is a great defender, Idrissa Gueye is like a lesser-known N'Golo Kante and you might be rather familiar with Sadio Mane. There's a lot of creativity, some midfield steel and a lot of pace in this team but Poland will be aware of it. I'd imagine Poland will look to contain the game, attack down the wings and hook crosses in for Lewandowski but will defend deep and deny space for the likes of Mane and Keita Balde to exploit on the counter. Team news will be with us very shortly so make sure you stick around to get all the updates, buildup and analysis you could possibly need. And as if this game wasn't already interesting, at the moment it looks like the unfancied Japan are about to do a number on Colombia! They're winning 2-1 with a man advantage just now - this could flip the outcome of the group.
The Senegalese players and fans were celebrating with all the gusto that you might expect for one of the greatest results in their history but it was the contrast with their manager, Aliou Cisse, which felt most significant. He simply strolled towards the beaten Poland manager Adam Nawalka and offered his hand, before calmly heading towards the tunnel in the most business-like of ways. Yes, he did reappear a few moments later to acknowledge, with a tap towards his heart, those Senegalese fans who were joyously dancing in the aisles but the overall message was clear. In Cisse’s mind, this was no great surprise and he is planning for Senegal’s World Cup to be about much more than simply becoming the first African team to win so far this summer in Russia following defeats already for Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Tunisia. “We managed to control the game tactically and emotionally - that is very important,” said Cisse. “We are not too euphoric; we have highs, lows and we are not going to jump up and down. We need to stay humble.” Such measured leadership should not be mistaken for a lack of emotion. Cisse broke down in front of his squad earlier in the week, such was the importance for him of again leading his country on world football’s biggest stage after he had previously been the captain when they reached the 2002 quarter-final. The only black manager in the tournament, he is also continuing to serve as a wonderful example to other emerging African coaches. “Senegal are proud to represent the whole continent,” he said. Good planning, tactical discipline, the presence of Sadio Mane and two fairly freakish goals ultimately settled this for Senegal. Senegal coach Aliou Cisse played in the country's 2002 World Cup team, where they reached the quarter-finals Credit: AP The first deflected off both Michal Pazdam and Thiago Cionek before going in, while the second was controversially gifted to Mbaye Niang. The Senegal striker had left the pitch for treatment and was then waved on by the fourth official just as Grzegorz Krychowiak hooked a ball back to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Niang sprinted on from the side of the pitch and reached the ball ahead of Szczesny, who had left his goal in an attempt to negate the danger, before tapping the ball into an empty net. Niang later stressed that the need for treatment had been genuine and his intention innocent but it had clearly caught Poland unaware. “Wojciech tried to save the situation,” said Nawalka. “We were very surprised. The players thought a substitute was coming on and that is why there was a big misunderstanding.” On the very same pitch as Lionel Messi so struggled against Iceland to make a decisive contribution, Mane had earlier been influential. He started on the left but, while Messi played just about the entire 90 minutes on Saturday in the area between Iceland’s midfield and defence, the Liverpool winger really magnified his own threat with his movement. There were several eye-catching passes and dribbles but it was his work off the ball that was just as impressive, especially once Poland seized control of possession during the second half. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players After Robert Lewandowski had forced a good save of Khadim N’Diaye with a free-kick, an excellent header by Krychowiak did briefly give Poland some hope. Nawalka, though, would make no attempt to hide the earlier deficiencies and effectively singled out the entire midfield for criticism. “There have been many bad elements,” he said. “The wingers didn’t do a good job and, in the centre, we didn’t do well either. Two goals following our mistakes was something we were very unhappy with. In the first half we did not play. The second half was better but too little.” World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 6:24PM Some stats for you Senegal have won 50% of their World Cup matches (3/6), the best win rate of any African nation in the competition. All three of Senegal’s World Cup wins have been against European nations (France, Sweden and Poland). Poland have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986. Poland have lost seven of their last nine World Cup matches (W2), failing to score in six of those losses. Poland are the first nation to make two errors leading to a goal in a single World Cup match so far in 2018. 6:03PM Goal controversy Slaven Bilic: "For me the referee makes a mistake, Krychowiak makes a mistake, Bednarek makes a mistake". Henrik Larsson: "I think the referee's read it very poorly there. Although the ball is in Poland's control, Bednarek doesn't see what's happening, Szczesny does but he sees it too late." 6:01PM Patrice Evra delighted I'm happy! Thank you to all the Senegal players, nobody expects them to win, no other African team has won. They played for the pride, we have to congratulate the manager, it's a good day. 5:59PM Next up The last game of today is Russia vs Egypt! Will Mo Salah make a big appearance? Will home support drive Russia onto another blockbusting performance? You can follow all the action with Alan Tyers in our liveblog here. 5:56PM Krychowiak's goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's a great photo! You can see Krychowiak beating the centre-backs to the ball. 5:54PM FULL TIME That's it! Senegal deserved the points and put on a superb performance here. They attacked with pace and purpose, created chances, coutner-attacked well and were really well drilled in defence. Poland, by way of comparison, offered hardly anything of note and were well beaten. 5:53PM 90 mins +4 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Do Poland have anything left in them? They're running out of time. But it's Senegal who are close scoring as Mane has a header in space inside the box! He cushions a header back across goal and the chance is gone, Poland get it up the pitch and are looking to get the ball into the box now. It's way more direct and now they're causing Senegal problems. 5:51PM 90 mins +2 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 The crowd are getting excited! Krychowiak is trying to win space to shoot in the box, waits, waits, waits... wins a corner. Up come the big lads... but it's a great claim by the goalkeeper. He plucks the ball out of the air and then humps the ball a mile down the pitch. 5:50PM 90 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Mane turns Cionek inside out on the left wing and earns himself a corner. Great play. It's swung in... but the referee has spotted a foul in the box and it's a free-kick. 5:48PM 88 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Well this is a lot better now. The crowd is alive, Poland are getting everyone forward. "Just get it in the box!" says an exasperated McCoist. "That's how you got your goal!" he offers, as Poland keep up the short passing. 5:46PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! POLAND ARE BACK IN IT! Poland 1 - 2 Senegal (Grzegorz Krychowiak, 86 min) A free-kick from distance is crossed into the box and Krychowiak jumps to power the header past the goalkeeper! But the VAR is checking for offside. It must be a goal... The goal stands! Brilliant header and free-kick from Poland. 5:45PM 85 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 The VAR are checking this decision! It could be a penalty... but VAR say no. Oooooh that would have been a story. 5:44PM 84 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Final sub for Poland. Piszczek off, Bereszynski on. Sarr attacks the right wing, is tackled and stays down... so Poland get the ball up the other end of the pitch. Sarr stays down for ages with a mysterious injury and the referee stops the game... but it turns out, miraculously, that Sarr is fine. The referee gestures from 50 yards for him to get up. He does.... and SARR IS IN! He's gone down in the penalty area and this could be a foul! The Poland players are FURIOUS with him! 5:42PM 82 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Possession: Poland vs Senegal Whenever Senegal get the ball they move it quickly with purpose. When they lose it they drop back and defend in numbers, ready to counter attack. There's nothing on show that suggests Poland are even bothered about the score staying like this. 5:40PM 80 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 "Just do something different to try and change the game!" McCoist says. Poland put a cross in from wide left which Kownacki heads into the ground. The atmosphere is fairly calm... but Poland are 10 minutes away from a big defeat! Where's the urgency? 5:38PM 78 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: FIFA Ally McCoist's getting wound up by the lack of adventure being shown by Poland. The fans are getting on their backs too. That makes a change from the general sound of apathy. You can actually hear it. 5:36PM 76 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Poland chip hopeful balls forward and Senegal have absolutely no problem dealing with it. Where is the imagination in this Poland team? 5:34PM 74 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Kownacki on, Milik off. He sprints over to the subs bench. 5:32PM 72 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 MILIK! That's very close. He makes a run to the near post to attack a cross from wide right but pokes it wide of the goal. Better from Poland. The game's a bit scrappy now. Gueye is booked for a late one on Krychowiak, both teams are swapping possession around the halfway line. Still Senegal look the more confident and hungry of the two. 5:29PM 70 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES And this is Krychowiak's pass which led to the goal. Poland are horrible here today. No invention, no speed, no tempo to the passes - Senegal have got their number. 5:27PM 68 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the moment Niang poked the ball beyond Szczesny for his goal. 5:26PM 66 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Great control by Sabaly. He wants the ball more than Piszczcek and steals it from him in the air, sprinting down the left wing until he hits a dead end. Senegal sitting back in a deeper shape now waiting to counter-attack Poland, who have to get more men forward now if they want to score. 5:23PM 63 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Diouf is subbed for Ndoye. Poland are raging about that goal because Niang had just come back on the pitch are leaving because he was 'injured'. It's a defensive error though - no point in blaming anyone but themselves for that error. 5:20PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! IT'S 2-0! OUT OF NOWHERE! Poland 0 - 2 Senegal (M'Baye Niang, 60 min) Krychowiak passes back to the goalkeeper but it's awful! Niang chases, Szczesny comes flying off his line way too early and the centre-back doesn't intercept.... and Niang is in! He pokes it past the goalie and then taps into an empty net! That's his first ever international goal! 5:20PM 60 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Niang goes down after contesting a header but Poland play on. Diouf is furious about it and goes charging into Krychowiak, fouling him to stop the game. Just for a second it looks like things might bubble over but heads cool as the referee calms them down. Incidentally, Niang is absolutely fine. 5:18PM 58 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland attack down the left and cross to the back post and Piszcek arrives! His effort is poor. "He didn't believe it," says McCoist as we watch the replay of that one. Poor from the Poland right-back. Miss: Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Lukasz Piszczek, 56 min) 5:15PM 56 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland vs Senegal When the average positions stats look like that it helps explain why a game might not be captivating. It's been exciting in flashes but a lot of the game has been played in midfield. 5:14PM 54 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 A quick attack down the left wing for Senegal gets Sabaly in at goal. He pulls the ball back across the box but Mane can't turn it at goal and his shot is blocked. Credit: AP Senegal have the ball in the final third, Mane switches play, the cross is whipped in from wide right and a striker swings a foot at it! He's missed the ball! If that had connected it could well have flown into the back of the net. 5:11PM 52 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Lewandowski takes the free-kick... and it's a strong save by N'Diaye at the far post. Poland have upped the tempo now and look much better than they were in the first half. 5:09PM 50 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland might have changed to 3-5-1-1 for this half. The three centre-backs should be able to nullify the Senegal front two, and that helps wing-backs get higher up the pitch to lend service to Lewandowski. Great play by Lewandowski! He steals the ball at half way, breaks away and Sane brings him down before he gets to the box. It's a clear booking and now Poland have a great free-kick opportunity. 5:07PM 48 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That's a really bad start for the half for Bednarek. His head has collided with the body of a Senegal forward and he might have jarred his neck... or at least taking a whack to the jaw. He's up and back ready to play though. 5:05PM KICK OFF 2 And we're back! Substitution for Poland though. Blaszczykowski hasn't made it out for the second half and Bednarek has replaced him. 5:03PM Gueye's goal / Cionek's own goal Credit: REUTERS Give it to the attacking player I say. Without the shot there wouldn't have been a goal! 4:59PM Bilic is great chat today "4-4-2 is back in business - Atletico, Monaco - but then at least you have one of the wingers if not both midfielders who go inside and the full-backs doing that (flying high up the wing) but none of the teams are doing that. It's two vs two." "It's easy to read," says Henrik Larsson. 4:57PM Slaven Bilic on the match "It's easy to explain why this is a boring game. Both teams play the same system so they cancel each other out. So in this kind of game a goal comes from a mistake or transition, it's like a mirror. The only players changing positions are Niang and Mane, it's very predictable." 4:55PM No shots on target by either side Poland vs Senegal shots on goal 4:49PM HALF TIME A deserved lead for Senegal and there is work to do for Poland here. They've been outclassed and need to bring a lot more to the table if they're going to get anything out of this. Average touch positions (45 + 1 min) 4:46PM 44 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland look a little pedestrian here. Credit: AFP Senegal in control of possession, taking their time, winning aerial duels, following up second balls with urgency and keeping cool. 4:44PM 42 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Sarr speeds past Rybus like a shooting star and wins a corner. It's curled out, to the six yard box and SANE IS THERE! Oh that's a bad miss! The cross has hit the penalty area and the defender has headed down into the ground and bounced the ball over the bar. That should be 2-0. 4:42PM 40 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That goal's going to count as an own goal apparently because Gueye's shot was heading wide. That sucks. Senegal are really impressive here, I wonder if Poland underestimated them a little bit. They're playing with a lot of energy and freedom but look really well drilled defensively and Poland can't get near them. 4:39PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! GUEYE HAS SCORED! Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Idrissa Gueye, 37 min) Great attack by Senegal but Poland's defending is dreadful here! Mane looks like he's going to hit it, passes it to his right and Gueye has space. He lines up the shot, fires it low and it takes a BIG deflection off Cionek and wrong-foots the goalkeeper. Senegal have the lead! 4:38PM 36 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Blaszczkowski is struggling a little bit after riding a tackle on the edge of the Senegal box but appears to be OK for now. 4:36PM 34 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Sarr controls a long switched pas son his chest beautifully, runs down the right and crosses in low... but a defender stabs it away. Senegal keep up the pressure, the ball comes in from the right again and Diouf attacks! But he can't get enough on his header, the centre-backs clear their lines and there was an offside in the buildup anyway. 4:34PM 32 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Nothing too much happening at the moment. The ball is mostly at halfway with no particular team really in control of it. Both looking to attack but losing the ball too early to do anything with it. 4:32PM 30 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Rybus runs in behind the Senegal back line but the goalkeeper comes out to claim before it becomes a problem. 4:30PM 28 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal probe the final third, keep up the high press but Poland go past it really easily and the break should be on! But as they try to come out of their own half it becomes apparent that absolutely nobody is high enough up the pitch to pass to and Senegal easily absorb the counter. 4:27PM 26 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 You can see the different approaches in this graphics: Possession: Poland vs Senegal Poland keeping more of the ball but doing it in safer positions. Senegal a little more direct and attacking the wings. Poland vs Senegal 4:25PM 24 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Credit: AFP Must be an awful pain making sure these guys are always standing in the right order. Lewandowski has tried a hopeful attempt at a volley, while off balance, from 20 yards but puts it harmlessly behind. 4:24PM 23 mins -Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal are holding their defensive shape (4-4-2) well here to deny Poland space to pass into. Poland are doing exactly the same thing, mind. 4:22PM 21 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland get up the pitch and look to have a decent chance to get the ball in the box here. It's chipped in, Milik throws himself at it and heads over. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Kamil Grosicki, 20 min) 4:21PM 19 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 All of a sudden Senegal are in! It's another quick attack, they dribble past players before making a forward pass but the shot inside the box is dragged wide. 4:18PM 16 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland attack quickly and win a corner but Senegal defend their box well and get it away, then win a throw. Senegal wait at half way to steal the ball and Sarr then goes on a dribble into the area, falls under close attention and makes an ambitious attempt at claiming a penalty. Never ever. 4:15PM 14 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Krychowiak fouls one player then lunges into another and has been booked for the first infringement. It was like he was determined to get booked there! Senegal have a free-kick about 30 yards - probably too far to shoot - but it looks like they're considering it. Sane steps up... and that's awful. He tries a knuckleball effort off the side of his foot but basically passes it out for a goal kick. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Salif Sané, 13 min) 4:13PM 11 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland are a 4-4-1-1 at the moment with Krychowiak doing a man-marking job on Mane whenever Senegal get forward on the ball. Mane puts in a great wee pass to the box but Cionek reads it well and shields until the goalkeeper can claim. 4:10PM 9 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 McCoist has pointed out the strategy at set pieces seems to be that Senegal put all their attacking players in the same position so that when they split, it's really difficult to pick up a man and stop them getting a head on any crosses into the box. Credit: FIFA Senegal have started well here. Poland seem measured and patient whereas Senegal are direct and taking the game to them. 4:08PM 7 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 According to Ally McCoist on co-comms, Senegal are heavily outnumbered in the crowd. "There are little pockets of fans but that's it" he says. Senegal win a corner, the centre-backs come forward for it. Niang prepares to take the kick... but it's cleared at the near post. 4:07PM 5 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland now keeping the ball and working forward well. Senegal have to be alert to defend as the ball is moved into the box but win possession and again come out from the back. 4:04PM 2 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal drop deep to defend a Poland attack but break into an attacking shape really quickly... then calmly pass their way out from the back. 4:02PM KICK OFF And we're off! 4:01PM National anthems done Credit: FIFA Nothing overly emotional in the national anthems and now, after ANOTHER betting advert, it's time for lovely fitba. I can't help but feel this lady is being rather presumptive. She could look quite the fool at the final whistle if Senegal turn up here today. Credit: OFFSIDE 3:55PM Here come the players 3:50PM Senegal's manager “I am certain that one day an African country will win the World Cup." Not my words, but those of Aliou Cisse, Senegal's manager and a man who really does think Senegal are in the running to do something special in this tournament. 3:47PM The last game of the first round How are you doing at Fantasy Football? The first round of games is over and if you're like me, you only have a few substitutions left to make. In my pre-tournament selection I really thought Senegal would do well here and I'm excited to see how Mane and co get on. There have been some big shocks already - Japan earlier was another! - but we're noticing some real trends. Most goals seem to come from set pieces and particularly penalties, with our old friends VAR helping out a lot. Correct decisions often mean more fouls which means more goals. 3:32PM Patrice Evra on Senegal "Don't forget about Koulibaly. Sarri made him improve a lot, he's really cool with the ball and is a massive asset for them." 3:30PM Slaven Bilic likes the look of Senegal The ITV panel are discussing how good Senegal might be. "They have something different," is Bilic's take on it. 3:27PM The World Cup in pictures This is lovely wee gallery to have a look through: Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 3:17PM Jamie Carragher on England last night Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama Our expert columnist has had his say on Raheem Sterling vs Marcus Rashford. 3:14PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 3:02PM Poland players inspecting the pitch There they are. Looking for holes and trying to find any bits of the pitch that will make the ball go super fast. 3:00PM Starting lineups Poland Szczesny, Pazdan, Cionek, Milik, Lewandowski, Krychowiak, Grosicki, Rybus, Blaszczykowski, Zielinski, Pirszczek Senegal KH. Ndiaye; Koulibaly, Gana, Sane, Diouf, Mane, Sabaly, A. Ndiaye, Ismaila, Niang, M. Wague 2:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Spartak Stadium We're in Moscow this afternoon/evening at what is usually Spartak Moscow's stadium. It looks a little something like this: Credit: GETTY IMAGES A bit like a multiplex cinema at a seaside resort. 2:43PM Senegal fans! Credit: TASS This is the first Senegal strip or flag I've seen in any of the pre-match build up photographs. Love that Senegal kit. 2:34PM What to expect from today Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Poland and Senegal's first match of the 2018 World Cup! It's a tough one to call and both teams might fancy their chances of getting all three points today - both have some really talented players and are capable of causing damage! Poland's best ever performance at the World Cup was in 1986 when they reached the semi-final: World Cup record: Poland Robert Lewandowski is by far their best player and at 29, is at peak age for a striker. This will surely be his last World Cup as one of the planet's greatest forwards though and Poland must ensure they give him enough ammunition to get every ounce of attacking talent squeezed out of him That's not to say Poland aren't decent elsewhere. Wijciech Szczesny has turned into an excellent goalkeeper, Kamil Glik won Ligue 1 with Monaco not long ago and Arkadiusz Milik has high potential. He currently plays for Napoli and big things are expected. World Cup record: Senegal Senegal's history in the competition isn't quite as impressive and aside from that brief 2002 foray to the quarter-finals, they haven't been anywhere near it. There are some great players in the current side though - Kalidou Koulibaly is a great defender, Idrissa Gueye is like a lesser-known N'Golo Kante and you might be rather familiar with Sadio Mane. There's a lot of creativity, some midfield steel and a lot of pace in this team but Poland will be aware of it. I'd imagine Poland will look to contain the game, attack down the wings and hook crosses in for Lewandowski but will defend deep and deny space for the likes of Mane and Keita Balde to exploit on the counter. Team news will be with us very shortly so make sure you stick around to get all the updates, buildup and analysis you could possibly need. And as if this game wasn't already interesting, at the moment it looks like the unfancied Japan are about to do a number on Colombia! They're winning 2-1 with a man advantage just now - this could flip the outcome of the group.
Senegal survive late Poland onslaught to throw Group H wide open
The Senegalese players and fans were celebrating with all the gusto that you might expect for one of the greatest results in their history but it was the contrast with their manager, Aliou Cisse, which felt most significant. He simply strolled towards the beaten Poland manager Adam Nawalka and offered his hand, before calmly heading towards the tunnel in the most business-like of ways. Yes, he did reappear a few moments later to acknowledge, with a tap towards his heart, those Senegalese fans who were joyously dancing in the aisles but the overall message was clear. In Cisse’s mind, this was no great surprise and he is planning for Senegal’s World Cup to be about much more than simply becoming the first African team to win so far this summer in Russia following defeats already for Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Tunisia. “We managed to control the game tactically and emotionally - that is very important,” said Cisse. “We are not too euphoric; we have highs, lows and we are not going to jump up and down. We need to stay humble.” Such measured leadership should not be mistaken for a lack of emotion. Cisse broke down in front of his squad earlier in the week, such was the importance for him of again leading his country on world football’s biggest stage after he had previously been the captain when they reached the 2002 quarter-final. The only black manager in the tournament, he is also continuing to serve as a wonderful example to other emerging African coaches. “Senegal are proud to represent the whole continent,” he said. Good planning, tactical discipline, the presence of Sadio Mane and two fairly freakish goals ultimately settled this for Senegal. Senegal coach Aliou Cisse played in the country's 2002 World Cup team, where they reached the quarter-finals Credit: AP The first deflected off both Michal Pazdam and Thiago Cionek before going in, while the second was controversially gifted to Mbaye Niang. The Senegal striker had left the pitch for treatment and was then waved on by the fourth official just as Grzegorz Krychowiak hooked a ball back to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Niang sprinted on from the side of the pitch and reached the ball ahead of Szczesny, who had left his goal in an attempt to negate the danger, before tapping the ball into an empty net. Niang later stressed that the need for treatment had been genuine and his intention innocent but it had clearly caught Poland unaware. “Wojciech tried to save the situation,” said Nawalka. “We were very surprised. The players thought a substitute was coming on and that is why there was a big misunderstanding.” On the very same pitch as Lionel Messi so struggled against Iceland to make a decisive contribution, Mane had earlier been influential. He started on the left but, while Messi played just about the entire 90 minutes on Saturday in the area between Iceland’s midfield and defence, the Liverpool winger really magnified his own threat with his movement. There were several eye-catching passes and dribbles but it was his work off the ball that was just as impressive, especially once Poland seized control of possession during the second half. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players After Robert Lewandowski had forced a good save of Khadim N’Diaye with a free-kick, an excellent header by Krychowiak did briefly give Poland some hope. Nawalka, though, would make no attempt to hide the earlier deficiencies and effectively singled out the entire midfield for criticism. “There have been many bad elements,” he said. “The wingers didn’t do a good job and, in the centre, we didn’t do well either. Two goals following our mistakes was something we were very unhappy with. In the first half we did not play. The second half was better but too little.” World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 6:24PM Some stats for you Senegal have won 50% of their World Cup matches (3/6), the best win rate of any African nation in the competition. All three of Senegal’s World Cup wins have been against European nations (France, Sweden and Poland). Poland have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986. Poland have lost seven of their last nine World Cup matches (W2), failing to score in six of those losses. Poland are the first nation to make two errors leading to a goal in a single World Cup match so far in 2018. 6:03PM Goal controversy Slaven Bilic: "For me the referee makes a mistake, Krychowiak makes a mistake, Bednarek makes a mistake". Henrik Larsson: "I think the referee's read it very poorly there. Although the ball is in Poland's control, Bednarek doesn't see what's happening, Szczesny does but he sees it too late." 6:01PM Patrice Evra delighted I'm happy! Thank you to all the Senegal players, nobody expects them to win, no other African team has won. They played for the pride, we have to congratulate the manager, it's a good day. 5:59PM Next up The last game of today is Russia vs Egypt! Will Mo Salah make a big appearance? Will home support drive Russia onto another blockbusting performance? You can follow all the action with Alan Tyers in our liveblog here. 5:56PM Krychowiak's goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's a great photo! You can see Krychowiak beating the centre-backs to the ball. 5:54PM FULL TIME That's it! Senegal deserved the points and put on a superb performance here. They attacked with pace and purpose, created chances, coutner-attacked well and were really well drilled in defence. Poland, by way of comparison, offered hardly anything of note and were well beaten. 5:53PM 90 mins +4 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Do Poland have anything left in them? They're running out of time. But it's Senegal who are close scoring as Mane has a header in space inside the box! He cushions a header back across goal and the chance is gone, Poland get it up the pitch and are looking to get the ball into the box now. It's way more direct and now they're causing Senegal problems. 5:51PM 90 mins +2 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 The crowd are getting excited! Krychowiak is trying to win space to shoot in the box, waits, waits, waits... wins a corner. Up come the big lads... but it's a great claim by the goalkeeper. He plucks the ball out of the air and then humps the ball a mile down the pitch. 5:50PM 90 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Mane turns Cionek inside out on the left wing and earns himself a corner. Great play. It's swung in... but the referee has spotted a foul in the box and it's a free-kick. 5:48PM 88 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Well this is a lot better now. The crowd is alive, Poland are getting everyone forward. "Just get it in the box!" says an exasperated McCoist. "That's how you got your goal!" he offers, as Poland keep up the short passing. 5:46PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! POLAND ARE BACK IN IT! Poland 1 - 2 Senegal (Grzegorz Krychowiak, 86 min) A free-kick from distance is crossed into the box and Krychowiak jumps to power the header past the goalkeeper! But the VAR is checking for offside. It must be a goal... The goal stands! Brilliant header and free-kick from Poland. 5:45PM 85 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 The VAR are checking this decision! It could be a penalty... but VAR say no. Oooooh that would have been a story. 5:44PM 84 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Final sub for Poland. Piszczek off, Bereszynski on. Sarr attacks the right wing, is tackled and stays down... so Poland get the ball up the other end of the pitch. Sarr stays down for ages with a mysterious injury and the referee stops the game... but it turns out, miraculously, that Sarr is fine. The referee gestures from 50 yards for him to get up. He does.... and SARR IS IN! He's gone down in the penalty area and this could be a foul! The Poland players are FURIOUS with him! 5:42PM 82 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Possession: Poland vs Senegal Whenever Senegal get the ball they move it quickly with purpose. When they lose it they drop back and defend in numbers, ready to counter attack. There's nothing on show that suggests Poland are even bothered about the score staying like this. 5:40PM 80 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 "Just do something different to try and change the game!" McCoist says. Poland put a cross in from wide left which Kownacki heads into the ground. The atmosphere is fairly calm... but Poland are 10 minutes away from a big defeat! Where's the urgency? 5:38PM 78 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: FIFA Ally McCoist's getting wound up by the lack of adventure being shown by Poland. The fans are getting on their backs too. That makes a change from the general sound of apathy. You can actually hear it. 5:36PM 76 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Poland chip hopeful balls forward and Senegal have absolutely no problem dealing with it. Where is the imagination in this Poland team? 5:34PM 74 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Kownacki on, Milik off. He sprints over to the subs bench. 5:32PM 72 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 MILIK! That's very close. He makes a run to the near post to attack a cross from wide right but pokes it wide of the goal. Better from Poland. The game's a bit scrappy now. Gueye is booked for a late one on Krychowiak, both teams are swapping possession around the halfway line. Still Senegal look the more confident and hungry of the two. 5:29PM 70 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES And this is Krychowiak's pass which led to the goal. Poland are horrible here today. No invention, no speed, no tempo to the passes - Senegal have got their number. 5:27PM 68 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the moment Niang poked the ball beyond Szczesny for his goal. 5:26PM 66 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Great control by Sabaly. He wants the ball more than Piszczcek and steals it from him in the air, sprinting down the left wing until he hits a dead end. Senegal sitting back in a deeper shape now waiting to counter-attack Poland, who have to get more men forward now if they want to score. 5:23PM 63 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Diouf is subbed for Ndoye. Poland are raging about that goal because Niang had just come back on the pitch are leaving because he was 'injured'. It's a defensive error though - no point in blaming anyone but themselves for that error. 5:20PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! IT'S 2-0! OUT OF NOWHERE! Poland 0 - 2 Senegal (M'Baye Niang, 60 min) Krychowiak passes back to the goalkeeper but it's awful! Niang chases, Szczesny comes flying off his line way too early and the centre-back doesn't intercept.... and Niang is in! He pokes it past the goalie and then taps into an empty net! That's his first ever international goal! 5:20PM 60 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Niang goes down after contesting a header but Poland play on. Diouf is furious about it and goes charging into Krychowiak, fouling him to stop the game. Just for a second it looks like things might bubble over but heads cool as the referee calms them down. Incidentally, Niang is absolutely fine. 5:18PM 58 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland attack down the left and cross to the back post and Piszcek arrives! His effort is poor. "He didn't believe it," says McCoist as we watch the replay of that one. Poor from the Poland right-back. Miss: Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Lukasz Piszczek, 56 min) 5:15PM 56 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland vs Senegal When the average positions stats look like that it helps explain why a game might not be captivating. It's been exciting in flashes but a lot of the game has been played in midfield. 5:14PM 54 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 A quick attack down the left wing for Senegal gets Sabaly in at goal. He pulls the ball back across the box but Mane can't turn it at goal and his shot is blocked. Credit: AP Senegal have the ball in the final third, Mane switches play, the cross is whipped in from wide right and a striker swings a foot at it! He's missed the ball! If that had connected it could well have flown into the back of the net. 5:11PM 52 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Lewandowski takes the free-kick... and it's a strong save by N'Diaye at the far post. Poland have upped the tempo now and look much better than they were in the first half. 5:09PM 50 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland might have changed to 3-5-1-1 for this half. The three centre-backs should be able to nullify the Senegal front two, and that helps wing-backs get higher up the pitch to lend service to Lewandowski. Great play by Lewandowski! He steals the ball at half way, breaks away and Sane brings him down before he gets to the box. It's a clear booking and now Poland have a great free-kick opportunity. 5:07PM 48 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That's a really bad start for the half for Bednarek. His head has collided with the body of a Senegal forward and he might have jarred his neck... or at least taking a whack to the jaw. He's up and back ready to play though. 5:05PM KICK OFF 2 And we're back! Substitution for Poland though. Blaszczykowski hasn't made it out for the second half and Bednarek has replaced him. 5:03PM Gueye's goal / Cionek's own goal Credit: REUTERS Give it to the attacking player I say. Without the shot there wouldn't have been a goal! 4:59PM Bilic is great chat today "4-4-2 is back in business - Atletico, Monaco - but then at least you have one of the wingers if not both midfielders who go inside and the full-backs doing that (flying high up the wing) but none of the teams are doing that. It's two vs two." "It's easy to read," says Henrik Larsson. 4:57PM Slaven Bilic on the match "It's easy to explain why this is a boring game. Both teams play the same system so they cancel each other out. So in this kind of game a goal comes from a mistake or transition, it's like a mirror. The only players changing positions are Niang and Mane, it's very predictable." 4:55PM No shots on target by either side Poland vs Senegal shots on goal 4:49PM HALF TIME A deserved lead for Senegal and there is work to do for Poland here. They've been outclassed and need to bring a lot more to the table if they're going to get anything out of this. Average touch positions (45 + 1 min) 4:46PM 44 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland look a little pedestrian here. Credit: AFP Senegal in control of possession, taking their time, winning aerial duels, following up second balls with urgency and keeping cool. 4:44PM 42 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Sarr speeds past Rybus like a shooting star and wins a corner. It's curled out, to the six yard box and SANE IS THERE! Oh that's a bad miss! The cross has hit the penalty area and the defender has headed down into the ground and bounced the ball over the bar. That should be 2-0. 4:42PM 40 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That goal's going to count as an own goal apparently because Gueye's shot was heading wide. That sucks. Senegal are really impressive here, I wonder if Poland underestimated them a little bit. They're playing with a lot of energy and freedom but look really well drilled defensively and Poland can't get near them. 4:39PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! GUEYE HAS SCORED! Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Idrissa Gueye, 37 min) Great attack by Senegal but Poland's defending is dreadful here! Mane looks like he's going to hit it, passes it to his right and Gueye has space. He lines up the shot, fires it low and it takes a BIG deflection off Cionek and wrong-foots the goalkeeper. Senegal have the lead! 4:38PM 36 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Blaszczkowski is struggling a little bit after riding a tackle on the edge of the Senegal box but appears to be OK for now. 4:36PM 34 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Sarr controls a long switched pas son his chest beautifully, runs down the right and crosses in low... but a defender stabs it away. Senegal keep up the pressure, the ball comes in from the right again and Diouf attacks! But he can't get enough on his header, the centre-backs clear their lines and there was an offside in the buildup anyway. 4:34PM 32 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Nothing too much happening at the moment. The ball is mostly at halfway with no particular team really in control of it. Both looking to attack but losing the ball too early to do anything with it. 4:32PM 30 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Rybus runs in behind the Senegal back line but the goalkeeper comes out to claim before it becomes a problem. 4:30PM 28 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal probe the final third, keep up the high press but Poland go past it really easily and the break should be on! But as they try to come out of their own half it becomes apparent that absolutely nobody is high enough up the pitch to pass to and Senegal easily absorb the counter. 4:27PM 26 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 You can see the different approaches in this graphics: Possession: Poland vs Senegal Poland keeping more of the ball but doing it in safer positions. Senegal a little more direct and attacking the wings. Poland vs Senegal 4:25PM 24 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Credit: AFP Must be an awful pain making sure these guys are always standing in the right order. Lewandowski has tried a hopeful attempt at a volley, while off balance, from 20 yards but puts it harmlessly behind. 4:24PM 23 mins -Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal are holding their defensive shape (4-4-2) well here to deny Poland space to pass into. Poland are doing exactly the same thing, mind. 4:22PM 21 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland get up the pitch and look to have a decent chance to get the ball in the box here. It's chipped in, Milik throws himself at it and heads over. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Kamil Grosicki, 20 min) 4:21PM 19 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 All of a sudden Senegal are in! It's another quick attack, they dribble past players before making a forward pass but the shot inside the box is dragged wide. 4:18PM 16 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland attack quickly and win a corner but Senegal defend their box well and get it away, then win a throw. Senegal wait at half way to steal the ball and Sarr then goes on a dribble into the area, falls under close attention and makes an ambitious attempt at claiming a penalty. Never ever. 4:15PM 14 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Krychowiak fouls one player then lunges into another and has been booked for the first infringement. It was like he was determined to get booked there! Senegal have a free-kick about 30 yards - probably too far to shoot - but it looks like they're considering it. Sane steps up... and that's awful. He tries a knuckleball effort off the side of his foot but basically passes it out for a goal kick. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Salif Sané, 13 min) 4:13PM 11 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland are a 4-4-1-1 at the moment with Krychowiak doing a man-marking job on Mane whenever Senegal get forward on the ball. Mane puts in a great wee pass to the box but Cionek reads it well and shields until the goalkeeper can claim. 4:10PM 9 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 McCoist has pointed out the strategy at set pieces seems to be that Senegal put all their attacking players in the same position so that when they split, it's really difficult to pick up a man and stop them getting a head on any crosses into the box. Credit: FIFA Senegal have started well here. Poland seem measured and patient whereas Senegal are direct and taking the game to them. 4:08PM 7 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 According to Ally McCoist on co-comms, Senegal are heavily outnumbered in the crowd. "There are little pockets of fans but that's it" he says. Senegal win a corner, the centre-backs come forward for it. Niang prepares to take the kick... but it's cleared at the near post. 4:07PM 5 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland now keeping the ball and working forward well. Senegal have to be alert to defend as the ball is moved into the box but win possession and again come out from the back. 4:04PM 2 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal drop deep to defend a Poland attack but break into an attacking shape really quickly... then calmly pass their way out from the back. 4:02PM KICK OFF And we're off! 4:01PM National anthems done Credit: FIFA Nothing overly emotional in the national anthems and now, after ANOTHER betting advert, it's time for lovely fitba. I can't help but feel this lady is being rather presumptive. She could look quite the fool at the final whistle if Senegal turn up here today. Credit: OFFSIDE 3:55PM Here come the players 3:50PM Senegal's manager “I am certain that one day an African country will win the World Cup." Not my words, but those of Aliou Cisse, Senegal's manager and a man who really does think Senegal are in the running to do something special in this tournament. 3:47PM The last game of the first round How are you doing at Fantasy Football? The first round of games is over and if you're like me, you only have a few substitutions left to make. In my pre-tournament selection I really thought Senegal would do well here and I'm excited to see how Mane and co get on. There have been some big shocks already - Japan earlier was another! - but we're noticing some real trends. Most goals seem to come from set pieces and particularly penalties, with our old friends VAR helping out a lot. Correct decisions often mean more fouls which means more goals. 3:32PM Patrice Evra on Senegal "Don't forget about Koulibaly. Sarri made him improve a lot, he's really cool with the ball and is a massive asset for them." 3:30PM Slaven Bilic likes the look of Senegal The ITV panel are discussing how good Senegal might be. "They have something different," is Bilic's take on it. 3:27PM The World Cup in pictures This is lovely wee gallery to have a look through: Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 3:17PM Jamie Carragher on England last night Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama Our expert columnist has had his say on Raheem Sterling vs Marcus Rashford. 3:14PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 3:02PM Poland players inspecting the pitch There they are. Looking for holes and trying to find any bits of the pitch that will make the ball go super fast. 3:00PM Starting lineups Poland Szczesny, Pazdan, Cionek, Milik, Lewandowski, Krychowiak, Grosicki, Rybus, Blaszczykowski, Zielinski, Pirszczek Senegal KH. Ndiaye; Koulibaly, Gana, Sane, Diouf, Mane, Sabaly, A. Ndiaye, Ismaila, Niang, M. Wague 2:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Spartak Stadium We're in Moscow this afternoon/evening at what is usually Spartak Moscow's stadium. It looks a little something like this: Credit: GETTY IMAGES A bit like a multiplex cinema at a seaside resort. 2:43PM Senegal fans! Credit: TASS This is the first Senegal strip or flag I've seen in any of the pre-match build up photographs. Love that Senegal kit. 2:34PM What to expect from today Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Poland and Senegal's first match of the 2018 World Cup! It's a tough one to call and both teams might fancy their chances of getting all three points today - both have some really talented players and are capable of causing damage! Poland's best ever performance at the World Cup was in 1986 when they reached the semi-final: World Cup record: Poland Robert Lewandowski is by far their best player and at 29, is at peak age for a striker. This will surely be his last World Cup as one of the planet's greatest forwards though and Poland must ensure they give him enough ammunition to get every ounce of attacking talent squeezed out of him That's not to say Poland aren't decent elsewhere. Wijciech Szczesny has turned into an excellent goalkeeper, Kamil Glik won Ligue 1 with Monaco not long ago and Arkadiusz Milik has high potential. He currently plays for Napoli and big things are expected. World Cup record: Senegal Senegal's history in the competition isn't quite as impressive and aside from that brief 2002 foray to the quarter-finals, they haven't been anywhere near it. There are some great players in the current side though - Kalidou Koulibaly is a great defender, Idrissa Gueye is like a lesser-known N'Golo Kante and you might be rather familiar with Sadio Mane. There's a lot of creativity, some midfield steel and a lot of pace in this team but Poland will be aware of it. I'd imagine Poland will look to contain the game, attack down the wings and hook crosses in for Lewandowski but will defend deep and deny space for the likes of Mane and Keita Balde to exploit on the counter. Team news will be with us very shortly so make sure you stick around to get all the updates, buildup and analysis you could possibly need. And as if this game wasn't already interesting, at the moment it looks like the unfancied Japan are about to do a number on Colombia! They're winning 2-1 with a man advantage just now - this could flip the outcome of the group.
The Senegalese players and fans were celebrating with all the gusto that you might expect for one of the greatest results in their history but it was the contrast with their manager, Aliou Cisse, which felt most significant. He simply strolled towards the beaten Poland manager Adam Nawalka and offered his hand, before calmly heading towards the tunnel in the most business-like of ways. Yes, he did reappear a few moments later to acknowledge, with a tap towards his heart, those Senegalese fans who were joyously dancing in the aisles but the overall message was clear. In Cisse’s mind, this was no great surprise and he is planning for Senegal’s World Cup to be about much more than simply becoming the first African team to win so far this summer in Russia following defeats already for Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Tunisia. “We managed to control the game tactically and emotionally - that is very important,” said Cisse. “We are not too euphoric; we have highs, lows and we are not going to jump up and down. We need to stay humble.” Such measured leadership should not be mistaken for a lack of emotion. Cisse broke down in front of his squad earlier in the week, such was the importance for him of again leading his country on world football’s biggest stage after he had previously been the captain when they reached the 2002 quarter-final. The only black manager in the tournament, he is also continuing to serve as a wonderful example to other emerging African coaches. “Senegal are proud to represent the whole continent,” he said. Good planning, tactical discipline, the presence of Sadio Mane and two fairly freakish goals ultimately settled this for Senegal. Senegal coach Aliou Cisse played in the country's 2002 World Cup team, where they reached the quarter-finals Credit: AP The first deflected off both Michal Pazdam and Thiago Cionek before going in, while the second was controversially gifted to Mbaye Niang. The Senegal striker had left the pitch for treatment and was then waved on by the fourth official just as Grzegorz Krychowiak hooked a ball back to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Niang sprinted on from the side of the pitch and reached the ball ahead of Szczesny, who had left his goal in an attempt to negate the danger, before tapping the ball into an empty net. Niang later stressed that the need for treatment had been genuine and his intention innocent but it had clearly caught Poland unaware. “Wojciech tried to save the situation,” said Nawalka. “We were very surprised. The players thought a substitute was coming on and that is why there was a big misunderstanding.” On the very same pitch as Lionel Messi so struggled against Iceland to make a decisive contribution, Mane had earlier been influential. He started on the left but, while Messi played just about the entire 90 minutes on Saturday in the area between Iceland’s midfield and defence, the Liverpool winger really magnified his own threat with his movement. There were several eye-catching passes and dribbles but it was his work off the ball that was just as impressive, especially once Poland seized control of possession during the second half. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players After Robert Lewandowski had forced a good save of Khadim N’Diaye with a free-kick, an excellent header by Krychowiak did briefly give Poland some hope. Nawalka, though, would make no attempt to hide the earlier deficiencies and effectively singled out the entire midfield for criticism. “There have been many bad elements,” he said. “The wingers didn’t do a good job and, in the centre, we didn’t do well either. Two goals following our mistakes was something we were very unhappy with. In the first half we did not play. The second half was better but too little.” World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 6:24PM Some stats for you Senegal have won 50% of their World Cup matches (3/6), the best win rate of any African nation in the competition. All three of Senegal’s World Cup wins have been against European nations (France, Sweden and Poland). Poland have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986. Poland have lost seven of their last nine World Cup matches (W2), failing to score in six of those losses. Poland are the first nation to make two errors leading to a goal in a single World Cup match so far in 2018. 6:03PM Goal controversy Slaven Bilic: "For me the referee makes a mistake, Krychowiak makes a mistake, Bednarek makes a mistake". Henrik Larsson: "I think the referee's read it very poorly there. Although the ball is in Poland's control, Bednarek doesn't see what's happening, Szczesny does but he sees it too late." 6:01PM Patrice Evra delighted I'm happy! Thank you to all the Senegal players, nobody expects them to win, no other African team has won. They played for the pride, we have to congratulate the manager, it's a good day. 5:59PM Next up The last game of today is Russia vs Egypt! Will Mo Salah make a big appearance? Will home support drive Russia onto another blockbusting performance? You can follow all the action with Alan Tyers in our liveblog here. 5:56PM Krychowiak's goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's a great photo! You can see Krychowiak beating the centre-backs to the ball. 5:54PM FULL TIME That's it! Senegal deserved the points and put on a superb performance here. They attacked with pace and purpose, created chances, coutner-attacked well and were really well drilled in defence. Poland, by way of comparison, offered hardly anything of note and were well beaten. 5:53PM 90 mins +4 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Do Poland have anything left in them? They're running out of time. But it's Senegal who are close scoring as Mane has a header in space inside the box! He cushions a header back across goal and the chance is gone, Poland get it up the pitch and are looking to get the ball into the box now. It's way more direct and now they're causing Senegal problems. 5:51PM 90 mins +2 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 The crowd are getting excited! Krychowiak is trying to win space to shoot in the box, waits, waits, waits... wins a corner. Up come the big lads... but it's a great claim by the goalkeeper. He plucks the ball out of the air and then humps the ball a mile down the pitch. 5:50PM 90 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Mane turns Cionek inside out on the left wing and earns himself a corner. Great play. It's swung in... but the referee has spotted a foul in the box and it's a free-kick. 5:48PM 88 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Well this is a lot better now. The crowd is alive, Poland are getting everyone forward. "Just get it in the box!" says an exasperated McCoist. "That's how you got your goal!" he offers, as Poland keep up the short passing. 5:46PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! POLAND ARE BACK IN IT! Poland 1 - 2 Senegal (Grzegorz Krychowiak, 86 min) A free-kick from distance is crossed into the box and Krychowiak jumps to power the header past the goalkeeper! But the VAR is checking for offside. It must be a goal... The goal stands! Brilliant header and free-kick from Poland. 5:45PM 85 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 The VAR are checking this decision! It could be a penalty... but VAR say no. Oooooh that would have been a story. 5:44PM 84 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Final sub for Poland. Piszczek off, Bereszynski on. Sarr attacks the right wing, is tackled and stays down... so Poland get the ball up the other end of the pitch. Sarr stays down for ages with a mysterious injury and the referee stops the game... but it turns out, miraculously, that Sarr is fine. The referee gestures from 50 yards for him to get up. He does.... and SARR IS IN! He's gone down in the penalty area and this could be a foul! The Poland players are FURIOUS with him! 5:42PM 82 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Possession: Poland vs Senegal Whenever Senegal get the ball they move it quickly with purpose. When they lose it they drop back and defend in numbers, ready to counter attack. There's nothing on show that suggests Poland are even bothered about the score staying like this. 5:40PM 80 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 "Just do something different to try and change the game!" McCoist says. Poland put a cross in from wide left which Kownacki heads into the ground. The atmosphere is fairly calm... but Poland are 10 minutes away from a big defeat! Where's the urgency? 5:38PM 78 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: FIFA Ally McCoist's getting wound up by the lack of adventure being shown by Poland. The fans are getting on their backs too. That makes a change from the general sound of apathy. You can actually hear it. 5:36PM 76 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Poland chip hopeful balls forward and Senegal have absolutely no problem dealing with it. Where is the imagination in this Poland team? 5:34PM 74 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Kownacki on, Milik off. He sprints over to the subs bench. 5:32PM 72 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 MILIK! That's very close. He makes a run to the near post to attack a cross from wide right but pokes it wide of the goal. Better from Poland. The game's a bit scrappy now. Gueye is booked for a late one on Krychowiak, both teams are swapping possession around the halfway line. Still Senegal look the more confident and hungry of the two. 5:29PM 70 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES And this is Krychowiak's pass which led to the goal. Poland are horrible here today. No invention, no speed, no tempo to the passes - Senegal have got their number. 5:27PM 68 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the moment Niang poked the ball beyond Szczesny for his goal. 5:26PM 66 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Great control by Sabaly. He wants the ball more than Piszczcek and steals it from him in the air, sprinting down the left wing until he hits a dead end. Senegal sitting back in a deeper shape now waiting to counter-attack Poland, who have to get more men forward now if they want to score. 5:23PM 63 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Diouf is subbed for Ndoye. Poland are raging about that goal because Niang had just come back on the pitch are leaving because he was 'injured'. It's a defensive error though - no point in blaming anyone but themselves for that error. 5:20PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! IT'S 2-0! OUT OF NOWHERE! Poland 0 - 2 Senegal (M'Baye Niang, 60 min) Krychowiak passes back to the goalkeeper but it's awful! Niang chases, Szczesny comes flying off his line way too early and the centre-back doesn't intercept.... and Niang is in! He pokes it past the goalie and then taps into an empty net! That's his first ever international goal! 5:20PM 60 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Niang goes down after contesting a header but Poland play on. Diouf is furious about it and goes charging into Krychowiak, fouling him to stop the game. Just for a second it looks like things might bubble over but heads cool as the referee calms them down. Incidentally, Niang is absolutely fine. 5:18PM 58 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland attack down the left and cross to the back post and Piszcek arrives! His effort is poor. "He didn't believe it," says McCoist as we watch the replay of that one. Poor from the Poland right-back. Miss: Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Lukasz Piszczek, 56 min) 5:15PM 56 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland vs Senegal When the average positions stats look like that it helps explain why a game might not be captivating. It's been exciting in flashes but a lot of the game has been played in midfield. 5:14PM 54 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 A quick attack down the left wing for Senegal gets Sabaly in at goal. He pulls the ball back across the box but Mane can't turn it at goal and his shot is blocked. Credit: AP Senegal have the ball in the final third, Mane switches play, the cross is whipped in from wide right and a striker swings a foot at it! He's missed the ball! If that had connected it could well have flown into the back of the net. 5:11PM 52 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Lewandowski takes the free-kick... and it's a strong save by N'Diaye at the far post. Poland have upped the tempo now and look much better than they were in the first half. 5:09PM 50 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland might have changed to 3-5-1-1 for this half. The three centre-backs should be able to nullify the Senegal front two, and that helps wing-backs get higher up the pitch to lend service to Lewandowski. Great play by Lewandowski! He steals the ball at half way, breaks away and Sane brings him down before he gets to the box. It's a clear booking and now Poland have a great free-kick opportunity. 5:07PM 48 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That's a really bad start for the half for Bednarek. His head has collided with the body of a Senegal forward and he might have jarred his neck... or at least taking a whack to the jaw. He's up and back ready to play though. 5:05PM KICK OFF 2 And we're back! Substitution for Poland though. Blaszczykowski hasn't made it out for the second half and Bednarek has replaced him. 5:03PM Gueye's goal / Cionek's own goal Credit: REUTERS Give it to the attacking player I say. Without the shot there wouldn't have been a goal! 4:59PM Bilic is great chat today "4-4-2 is back in business - Atletico, Monaco - but then at least you have one of the wingers if not both midfielders who go inside and the full-backs doing that (flying high up the wing) but none of the teams are doing that. It's two vs two." "It's easy to read," says Henrik Larsson. 4:57PM Slaven Bilic on the match "It's easy to explain why this is a boring game. Both teams play the same system so they cancel each other out. So in this kind of game a goal comes from a mistake or transition, it's like a mirror. The only players changing positions are Niang and Mane, it's very predictable." 4:55PM No shots on target by either side Poland vs Senegal shots on goal 4:49PM HALF TIME A deserved lead for Senegal and there is work to do for Poland here. They've been outclassed and need to bring a lot more to the table if they're going to get anything out of this. Average touch positions (45 + 1 min) 4:46PM 44 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Poland look a little pedestrian here. Credit: AFP Senegal in control of possession, taking their time, winning aerial duels, following up second balls with urgency and keeping cool. 4:44PM 42 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 Sarr speeds past Rybus like a shooting star and wins a corner. It's curled out, to the six yard box and SANE IS THERE! Oh that's a bad miss! The cross has hit the penalty area and the defender has headed down into the ground and bounced the ball over the bar. That should be 2-0. 4:42PM 40 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 1 That goal's going to count as an own goal apparently because Gueye's shot was heading wide. That sucks. Senegal are really impressive here, I wonder if Poland underestimated them a little bit. They're playing with a lot of energy and freedom but look really well drilled defensively and Poland can't get near them. 4:39PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! GUEYE HAS SCORED! Poland 0 - 1 Senegal (Idrissa Gueye, 37 min) Great attack by Senegal but Poland's defending is dreadful here! Mane looks like he's going to hit it, passes it to his right and Gueye has space. He lines up the shot, fires it low and it takes a BIG deflection off Cionek and wrong-foots the goalkeeper. Senegal have the lead! 4:38PM 36 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Blaszczkowski is struggling a little bit after riding a tackle on the edge of the Senegal box but appears to be OK for now. 4:36PM 34 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Sarr controls a long switched pas son his chest beautifully, runs down the right and crosses in low... but a defender stabs it away. Senegal keep up the pressure, the ball comes in from the right again and Diouf attacks! But he can't get enough on his header, the centre-backs clear their lines and there was an offside in the buildup anyway. 4:34PM 32 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Nothing too much happening at the moment. The ball is mostly at halfway with no particular team really in control of it. Both looking to attack but losing the ball too early to do anything with it. 4:32PM 30 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Rybus runs in behind the Senegal back line but the goalkeeper comes out to claim before it becomes a problem. 4:30PM 28 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal probe the final third, keep up the high press but Poland go past it really easily and the break should be on! But as they try to come out of their own half it becomes apparent that absolutely nobody is high enough up the pitch to pass to and Senegal easily absorb the counter. 4:27PM 26 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 You can see the different approaches in this graphics: Possession: Poland vs Senegal Poland keeping more of the ball but doing it in safer positions. Senegal a little more direct and attacking the wings. Poland vs Senegal 4:25PM 24 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Credit: AFP Must be an awful pain making sure these guys are always standing in the right order. Lewandowski has tried a hopeful attempt at a volley, while off balance, from 20 yards but puts it harmlessly behind. 4:24PM 23 mins -Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal are holding their defensive shape (4-4-2) well here to deny Poland space to pass into. Poland are doing exactly the same thing, mind. 4:22PM 21 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland get up the pitch and look to have a decent chance to get the ball in the box here. It's chipped in, Milik throws himself at it and heads over. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Kamil Grosicki, 20 min) 4:21PM 19 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 All of a sudden Senegal are in! It's another quick attack, they dribble past players before making a forward pass but the shot inside the box is dragged wide. 4:18PM 16 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland attack quickly and win a corner but Senegal defend their box well and get it away, then win a throw. Senegal wait at half way to steal the ball and Sarr then goes on a dribble into the area, falls under close attention and makes an ambitious attempt at claiming a penalty. Never ever. 4:15PM 14 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Krychowiak fouls one player then lunges into another and has been booked for the first infringement. It was like he was determined to get booked there! Senegal have a free-kick about 30 yards - probably too far to shoot - but it looks like they're considering it. Sane steps up... and that's awful. He tries a knuckleball effort off the side of his foot but basically passes it out for a goal kick. Miss: Poland 0 - 0 Senegal (Salif Sané, 13 min) 4:13PM 11 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland are a 4-4-1-1 at the moment with Krychowiak doing a man-marking job on Mane whenever Senegal get forward on the ball. Mane puts in a great wee pass to the box but Cionek reads it well and shields until the goalkeeper can claim. 4:10PM 9 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 McCoist has pointed out the strategy at set pieces seems to be that Senegal put all their attacking players in the same position so that when they split, it's really difficult to pick up a man and stop them getting a head on any crosses into the box. Credit: FIFA Senegal have started well here. Poland seem measured and patient whereas Senegal are direct and taking the game to them. 4:08PM 7 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 According to Ally McCoist on co-comms, Senegal are heavily outnumbered in the crowd. "There are little pockets of fans but that's it" he says. Senegal win a corner, the centre-backs come forward for it. Niang prepares to take the kick... but it's cleared at the near post. 4:07PM 5 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Poland now keeping the ball and working forward well. Senegal have to be alert to defend as the ball is moved into the box but win possession and again come out from the back. 4:04PM 2 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 0 Senegal drop deep to defend a Poland attack but break into an attacking shape really quickly... then calmly pass their way out from the back. 4:02PM KICK OFF And we're off! 4:01PM National anthems done Credit: FIFA Nothing overly emotional in the national anthems and now, after ANOTHER betting advert, it's time for lovely fitba. I can't help but feel this lady is being rather presumptive. She could look quite the fool at the final whistle if Senegal turn up here today. Credit: OFFSIDE 3:55PM Here come the players 3:50PM Senegal's manager “I am certain that one day an African country will win the World Cup." Not my words, but those of Aliou Cisse, Senegal's manager and a man who really does think Senegal are in the running to do something special in this tournament. 3:47PM The last game of the first round How are you doing at Fantasy Football? The first round of games is over and if you're like me, you only have a few substitutions left to make. In my pre-tournament selection I really thought Senegal would do well here and I'm excited to see how Mane and co get on. There have been some big shocks already - Japan earlier was another! - but we're noticing some real trends. Most goals seem to come from set pieces and particularly penalties, with our old friends VAR helping out a lot. Correct decisions often mean more fouls which means more goals. 3:32PM Patrice Evra on Senegal "Don't forget about Koulibaly. Sarri made him improve a lot, he's really cool with the ball and is a massive asset for them." 3:30PM Slaven Bilic likes the look of Senegal The ITV panel are discussing how good Senegal might be. "They have something different," is Bilic's take on it. 3:27PM The World Cup in pictures This is lovely wee gallery to have a look through: Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 3:17PM Jamie Carragher on England last night Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama Our expert columnist has had his say on Raheem Sterling vs Marcus Rashford. 3:14PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 3:02PM Poland players inspecting the pitch There they are. Looking for holes and trying to find any bits of the pitch that will make the ball go super fast. 3:00PM Starting lineups Poland Szczesny, Pazdan, Cionek, Milik, Lewandowski, Krychowiak, Grosicki, Rybus, Blaszczykowski, Zielinski, Pirszczek Senegal KH. Ndiaye; Koulibaly, Gana, Sane, Diouf, Mane, Sabaly, A. Ndiaye, Ismaila, Niang, M. Wague 2:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Spartak Stadium We're in Moscow this afternoon/evening at what is usually Spartak Moscow's stadium. It looks a little something like this: Credit: GETTY IMAGES A bit like a multiplex cinema at a seaside resort. 2:43PM Senegal fans! Credit: TASS This is the first Senegal strip or flag I've seen in any of the pre-match build up photographs. Love that Senegal kit. 2:34PM What to expect from today Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Poland and Senegal's first match of the 2018 World Cup! It's a tough one to call and both teams might fancy their chances of getting all three points today - both have some really talented players and are capable of causing damage! Poland's best ever performance at the World Cup was in 1986 when they reached the semi-final: World Cup record: Poland Robert Lewandowski is by far their best player and at 29, is at peak age for a striker. This will surely be his last World Cup as one of the planet's greatest forwards though and Poland must ensure they give him enough ammunition to get every ounce of attacking talent squeezed out of him That's not to say Poland aren't decent elsewhere. Wijciech Szczesny has turned into an excellent goalkeeper, Kamil Glik won Ligue 1 with Monaco not long ago and Arkadiusz Milik has high potential. He currently plays for Napoli and big things are expected. World Cup record: Senegal Senegal's history in the competition isn't quite as impressive and aside from that brief 2002 foray to the quarter-finals, they haven't been anywhere near it. There are some great players in the current side though - Kalidou Koulibaly is a great defender, Idrissa Gueye is like a lesser-known N'Golo Kante and you might be rather familiar with Sadio Mane. There's a lot of creativity, some midfield steel and a lot of pace in this team but Poland will be aware of it. I'd imagine Poland will look to contain the game, attack down the wings and hook crosses in for Lewandowski but will defend deep and deny space for the likes of Mane and Keita Balde to exploit on the counter. Team news will be with us very shortly so make sure you stick around to get all the updates, buildup and analysis you could possibly need. And as if this game wasn't already interesting, at the moment it looks like the unfancied Japan are about to do a number on Colombia! They're winning 2-1 with a man advantage just now - this could flip the outcome of the group.
Senegal survive late Poland onslaught to throw Group H wide open
The Senegalese players and fans were celebrating with all the gusto that you might expect for one of the greatest results in their history but it was the contrast with their manager, Aliou Cisse, which felt most significant. He simply strolled towards the beaten Poland manager Adam Nawalka and offered his hand, before calmly heading towards the tunnel in the most business-like of ways. Yes, he did reappear a few moments later to acknowledge, with a tap towards his heart, those Senegalese fans who were joyously dancing in the aisles but the overall message was clear. In Cisse’s mind, this was no great surprise and he is planning for Senegal’s World Cup to be about much more than simply becoming the first African team to win so far this summer in Russia following defeats already for Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Tunisia. “We managed to control the game tactically and emotionally - that is very important,” said Cisse. “We are not too euphoric; we have highs, lows and we are not going to jump up and down. We need to stay humble.” Such measured leadership should not be mistaken for a lack of emotion. Cisse broke down in front of his squad earlier in the week, such was the importance for him of again leading his country on world football’s biggest stage after he had previously been the captain when they reached the 2002 quarter-final. The only black manager in the tournament, he is also continuing to serve as a wonderful example to other emerging African coaches. “Senegal are proud to represent the whole continent,” he said. Good planning, tactical discipline, the presence of Sadio Mane and two fairly freakish goals ultimately settled this for Senegal. Senegal coach Aliou Cisse played in the country's 2002 World Cup team, where they reached the quarter-finals Credit: AP The first deflected off both Michal Pazdam and Thiago Cionek before going in, while the second was controversially gifted to Mbaye Niang. The Senegal striker had left the pitch for treatment and was then waved on by the fourth official just as Grzegorz Krychowiak hooked a ball back to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Niang sprinted on from the side of the pitch and reached the ball ahead of Szczesny, who had left his goal in an attempt to negate the danger, before tapping the ball into an empty net. Niang later stressed that the need for treatment had been genuine and his intention innocent but it had clearly caught Poland unaware. “Wojciech tried to save the situation,” said Nawalka. “We were very surprised. The players thought a substitute was coming on and that is why there was a big misunderstanding.” On the very same pitch as Lionel Messi so struggled against Iceland to make a decisive contribution, Mane had earlier been influential. He started on the left but, while Messi played just about the entire 90 minutes on Saturday in the area between Iceland’s midfield and defence, the Liverpool winger really magnified his own threat with his movement. There were several eye-catching passes and dribbles but it was his work off the ball that was just as impressive, especially once Poland seized control of possession during the second half. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players After Robert Lewandowski had forced a good save of Khadim N’Diaye with a free-kick, an excellent header by Krychowiak did briefly give Poland some hope. Nawalka, though, would make no attempt to hide the earlier deficiencies and effectively singled out the entire midfield for criticism. “There have been many bad elements,” he said. “The wingers didn’t do a good job and, in the centre, we didn’t do well either. Two goals following our mistakes was something we were very unhappy with. In the first half we did not play. The second half was better but too little.” World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 6:24PM Some stats for you Senegal have won 50% of their World Cup matches (3/6), the best win rate of any African nation in the competition. All three of Senegal’s World Cup wins have been against European nations (France, Sweden and Poland). Poland have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986. Poland have lost seven of their last nine World Cup matches (W2), failing to score in six of those losses. Poland are the first nation to make two errors leading to a goal in a single World Cup match so far in 2018. 6:03PM Goal controversy Slaven Bilic: "For me the referee makes a mistake, Krychowiak makes a mistake, Bednarek makes a mistake". Henrik Larsson: "I think the referee's read it very poorly there. Although the ball is in Poland's control, Bednarek doesn't see what's happening, Szczesny does but he sees it too late." 6:01PM Patrice Evra delighted I'm happy! Thank you to all the Senegal players, nobody expects them to win, no other African team has won. They played for the pride, we have to congratulate the manager, it's a good day. 5:59PM Next up The last game of today is Russia vs Egypt! Will Mo Salah make a big appearance? Will home support drive Russia onto another blockbusting performance? You can follow all the action with Alan Tyers in our liveblog here. 5:56PM Krychowiak's goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's a great photo! You can see Krychowiak beating the centre-backs to the ball. 5:54PM FULL TIME That's it! Senegal deserved the points and put on a superb performance here. They attacked with pace and purpose, created chances, coutner-attacked well and were really well drilled in defence. Poland, by way of comparison, offered hardly anything of note and were well beaten. 5:53PM 90 mins +4 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Do Poland have anything left in them? They're running out of time. But it's Senegal who are close scoring as Mane has a header in space inside the box! He cushions a header back across goal and the chance is gone, Poland get it up the pitch and are looking to get the ball into the box now. It's way more direct and now they're causing Senegal problems. 5:51PM 90 mins +2 - Poland 1 Senegal 2 The crowd are getting excited! Krychowiak is trying to win space to shoot in the box, waits, waits, waits... wins a corner. Up come the big lads... but it's a great claim by the goalkeeper. He plucks the ball out of the air and then humps the ball a mile down the pitch. 5:50PM 90 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Mane turns Cionek inside out on the left wing and earns himself a corner. Great play. It's swung in... but the referee has spotted a foul in the box and it's a free-kick. 5:48PM 88 mins - Poland 1 Senegal 2 Well this is a lot better now. The crowd is alive, Poland are getting everyone forward. "Just get it in the box!" says an exasperated McCoist. "That's how you got your goal!" he offers, as Poland keep up the short passing. 5:46PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! POLAND ARE BACK IN IT! Poland 1 - 2 Senegal (Grzegorz Krychowiak, 86 min) A free-kick from distance is crossed into the box and Krychowiak jumps to power the header past the goalkeeper! But the VAR is checking for offside. It must be a goal... The goal stands! Brilliant header and free-kick from Poland. 5:45PM 85 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 The VAR are checking this decision! It could be a penalty... but VAR say no. Oooooh that would have been a story. 5:44PM 84 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Final sub for Poland. Piszczek off, Bereszynski on. Sarr attacks the right wing, is tackled and stays down... so Poland get the ball up the other end of the pitch. Sarr stays down for ages with a mysterious injury and the referee stops the game... but it turns out, miraculously, that Sarr is fine. The referee gestures from 50 yards for him to get up. He does.... and SARR IS IN! He's gone down in the penalty area and this could be a foul! The Poland players are FURIOUS with him! 5:42PM 82 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Possession: Poland vs Senegal Whenever Senegal get the ball they move it quickly with purpose. When they lose it they drop back and defend in numbers, ready to counter attack. There's nothing on show that suggests Poland are even bothered about the score staying like this. 5:40PM 80 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 "Just do something different to try and change the game!" McCoist says. Poland put a cross in from wide left which Kownacki heads into the ground. The atmosphere is fairly calm... but Poland are 10 minutes away from a big defeat! Where's the urgency? 5:38PM 78 mins - Poland 0 Senegal 2 Credit: FIFA Ally McCoist's getting wound up by the lack of adventure being shown by Poland. The fans are getting on their backs too. That makes a change from the general sound of apathy. You can actually hear it. 5:36PM 76 mins - Poland 0