Senegal is the pride of Africa
Robert Lewandowski put his hands on his hips; before he had used them to give final instructions. He showed other players their routes, showed where the ball was to go and in the end, as was usually the case in this game against Senegal, the ball did not come to him. After the final whistle he did not go directly into the cabin, but to the grandstand, his wife had come to the barrier on the pitch. They kissed and then he disappeared – with the result that Anna Lewandowska didn’t come down from the stands anymore because everyone had recognized her now and wanted to have a selfie. She did the photo work with amazing patience.
It wasn’t Robert Lewandowski’s game, he had 34 contacts at the end, two shots on goal, one of which was a free kick. No, it was the game of Senegal – the first African team to win a game in this tournament. And this despite two goals with Polish help not undeservedly.
The fans danced during the game
“All Africa supports us. They are proud of us and we are proud,” said coach Aliou Cissé. “We made a great game. We deserve the luck,” said goal scorer M’Baye Niang. Perhaps by’luck’ he meant 1-0 when Thiago Cionek deflected a shot from Idrissa Gueye untenably for Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.
Or his own gate. He was actually outside the field, being treated for an injury, but referee Nawaf Abdulla Shukralla from Bahrain gave him permission to return to the pitch just as Grzegorz Krychowiak was playing a fatal arc lamp return pass. Maybe it helped Niang that he wore a green jersey on green grass, at least the last Polish defender Jan Bednarek didn’t have him on the screen at all. As goalkeeper Szczesny was late, Niang scored the decisive second goal in stealth mode. “I had a feeling I could reach that ball,” Niang said later.
There were few Senegalese fans in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, where the Poles formed a red and white wall in two and a half curves. The few who were there danced the whole game. European and South American fans sing at football – African dancers dance. They then form groups in the stands and bob with the team during the match – and if they win even after the match. In Senegal, schoolchildren sang through the streets after the match and in the stadium the fans also cleared their garbage themselves into plastic bags after the match. The atmosphere remained very peaceful, the Polish bloc applauded the Senegalese anthem.