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World Cup 2018 Analysis: Poland – Senegal 1:2 (0:1) – Senegal upsets Poland

Poland – Senegal 1:2 (0:1)

Superstars are Lost

A little scary in the games thus far is the lack of substance in build up situations. Many players remain around the ball at the center-backs and enjoy a good ball possession statistics. Examples of possession sequences of the Poles and reasons why Lewandowski wasn’t connected to the game:

Poland are in possession. Both #6s of the Poles go into the ball and get passed to without overplaying any striker. In addition, both wingers of each side move very high and thus create no connection to the ball. The result are long and high balls in the top or on the wing. Belgium had similar problems the day before.


From the three chain build up, the center-back would actually have to push a bit higher to catch an advantage and get a head start in the next area. Since that does not happen, they make themselves pressable for Diouf and Mane and remain without a real option to play to.

The fact that you “did not fall asleep at half time” (Quote by Oliver Kahn at halftime in German TV) was due to the 38th minute. Matching the game, the goal comes after a wild long ball and actual numerical superiority of the Poles by a deflected shot …

“IT SEEMS THAT MANY TEAMS FIRST INTEND is SAFETY, MISSING courage IN build ups, TO WIDE DISTANCES BETWEEN THE PLAYERS AND THE ASSOCIATED PROBLEMS IN creating chances lead to boring games and a lot of goals via set pieces” – STEVEN TUREK

Poland’s Reconstruction

At the beginning of the second half, Poland switched to a 3:5:2. An idea that actually fits very well. First, the attacking center against the two central defenders (Sane and Koulibaly) is strengthened and on the other side preventing counterattacks  against Mane is easier with a back three than with two central defenders plus help. Several scenes in the box and shots for Poland were the result.

Sane and Koulibaly are directly occupied by the two central strikers, the 10 behind them provides above all for a good balance in counterpressing and second balls. The one winger also benefits, as the Senegalese full-backs are more likely to help inside.


Wild, Wild Football

Just in this phase falls the second goal of the Senegalese and completely took Polands momentum. A combination of a long ball, a blind back pass, a (at the right moment) waving in Niang and a goalie in no-man’s-land makes for the decision.

An analysis by Steven Turek

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