The second goal that Poland conceded to Senegal was quite arguably one of the most controversial of the World Cup thus far, but the African side were the better team throughout the 90 minutes en route to the 2-1 win. It was an underwhelming start for Poland, who coming in to the tournament were odds-on favorites to advance out of group H along with Colombia.
The Polish team received a great deal of criticism after the defeat, but none quite as harsh, perhaps, as that of ex-Poland international and father of keeper Wojciech Szczesny, Maciej Szczesny. Speaking to Polish television station TVP (via Kicker), gave a withering critique of the team’s performance and singled out Lewandowski for being absent in the first half:
Lewandowski was probably not even on the field in the first half. The team moved with the monotonous pace of a regional train on the stretch from Pilawa to Tluszcz.
He also took a pot shot at his son, whom he felt was slow coming off of his line after Grzegorz Krychowiak’s back pass led to Senegal’s second goal. The younger Szczesny was moving “as if to a liquor store.”
The Senegalese could easily shoot into an empty goal. It’s a shame and disgrace.
Lewandowski cut a frustrated figure immediately following the final whistle. He had been well contained by the Senegalese defense for the better part of the 90+ minutes. The wait continues for his third goal in a major international tournament and his first World Cup goal after setting a UEFA record with 16 goals in Poland’s qualifying campaign. After the match, the striker acknowledged his underwhelming scoring record thus far in major tournaments:
We won’t get any points here this way. The nightmare of the Euros is back; the tournament situation has repeated itself. We have to play differently [against Colombia], much better, and then the result will also be different.
On the stats sheet (via WhoScored), Lewandowski registered just one shot on target: a free-kick that forced a fine save from Khadim N’Diaye. Additionally, he only completed a total of 18 passes from a total of 34 touches on the ball, statistics that highlight how isolated he was for the majority of the match.