Mane, right place, right time to edge Senegal ahead

How Senegal’s masterful tactics led to victory over Poland

That means the victor would be in good shape to advance past the group stage, and a draw could end up benefiting either or both.

The record show that African teams, since the tournament was expanded and five representatives from the continent joined the party, have generally struggled when it comes to the opening matches at the World Cup show.

We might have known there would be drama aplenty when Colombian Carlos Sanchez was sent off for imitating a goalkeeper exactly 180 seconds into the first Group H match, forcing Jose Pekerman's team to play a man down for 92 minutes, including stoppage time, in an eventual 2-1 loss the Japanese.

"It will be like a final. We respect this team", he said.

"I got a lot of sleep today so I'll make it through Monday, just at a lower gear". Being forced to watch his countrymen reach the quarterfinals without him was heartbreaking for the Monaco striker, who did everything this season to arrive in Russian Federation in peak physical form. "Not many players get to score a hat trick in a World Cup".

For Cisse it was a tremendous triumph but more than that, it was just as significant for the symbolic message sent out by the 42-year-old's success: As the youngest coach and the only black coach among the 32 at Russian Federation 2018, Cisse confirmed the quality, acumen and all-round game suss of a new generation of emerging black coaches.

"We really wanted to win, we wanted to equalize and also take the lead even though there was only a short period of time left". "All we need to do is show it again". "We lost one match but there are two ahead of us, it is all up to us".

Poland's top all-time scorer, Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich, has his own designs on controlling play after Poland was let down by its defense against Senegal.

Prediction - Poland just peaked too early in this World Cup cycle.

Poland will be eliminated if they lose and Senegal do not win (23.7%). Aliou Cisse's men were well-organised and kept the risky Polish forward line at bay until Grzegorz Krychowiak pulled one back in the 87th minute. "Above all, we didn't live up to our potential". England will face tougher tests - although it's hard to say whether this will come against Belgium, as both sides are likely to make substantial changes. Stacked with footballing talents like James Rodriguez, who was unable to start the game due to injury, and Juan Fernando Quintero, most believed this would have been Colombia's easiest challenge in the group.

Rodriguez was the star of the 2014 World Cup, and having started on the bench against Japan, he now needs the opportunity to be the star of this one, at least for Colombia if not of the tournament as a whole.

Senegal's charismatic, 42-year-old coach, Aliou Cisse, became an Internet darling after his fist-pumping celebration and emphatic sideline gestures during the win over Poland.

A victory over the Africans in their final first-round match in Samara on Thursday would secure Colombia a spot in the last 16 as they target at least matching their charge to the quarterfinals in Brazil four years ago.

Shinji Kagawa is another player who can hurt Senegal. He is 100 percent sure she will be supporting Poland if there is a final between her husband's team and the host nation.

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