A horrific goalkeeping mistake from Wojciech Szczesney cost Poland as Senegal picked up a 2-1 World Cup victory in Group H.
Thiago Cionek got a World Cup strike of the worst kind as his own goal gave Senegal a 1-0 lead at half-time.
M’Biaye Niang took advantage of the goalkeeping clanger to double the advantage in the second half which meant Grzegorz Krychowiak’s late header meant nothing as Senegal picked up their first win at the tournament since 2002.
After Columbia had slipped up against Japan earlier in the day, both sides knew a win could put them in control of the group but the manner in which Poland fell will anger their fans who were watching. They were defensively poor while going forward, they lacked any sort of spark.
The game also lacked any excitement in itself, with just the opening goal representing a meaningful chance in the first half. Surprisingly, it was Everton defensive midfielder Idrissa Gueye who created the problem for Poland as his long-range shot took a wicked deflection off of the unfortunate Cionek before flying into the far corner. Replays showed Gueye’s shot was heading wide so the Polish defender’s connection resulted in an own goal being awarded to his name.
The second half was a slightly better watch, but Poland’s lack of imagination and desire was dismal to see. Robert Lewandoski’s free-kick was the closest they came to making it 1-1, but Senegal goalkeeper Khadim N’Diaye was there to match it with a palming save.
The game may not have been memorable, but there was a moment that not many people will forget that sealed the win for the Senegalese. A sloppy back-pass from Krychowiak was raced onto by Niang and the Watford man skipped his way past Szczesney, who had come flying out of his goal nearly 40 yards. It was a place no goalkeeper should find himself and it cost him as Niang slapped the ball into the empty net for a 2-0 scoreline.
Finally, Poland started to play but it was too little, too late. Arkadiusz Milik hit a first-time effort wide from close range in the 70th minute and four minutes from time, Poland pulled a goal back through Krychowiak as he rose highest to meet Kamil Grosicki’s free-kick and power in his header.
In the end, Senegal deserved their win but from the display of this performance, neither side will be seen as a real threat to progress far in the tournament.