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Kouyate dumped - but Senegal prevail

Filed: Wednesday, 20th June 2018
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United's Cheikhou Kouyate was a surprise omission from Senegal's starting XI against Poland last night - although the Lions of Teranga recorded their first win in Russia regardless.

Kouyate, who is Senegal's regular captain was dropped by manager Aliou Cisse for last night's tie with the Poles for Everton's Idrissa Gueye in a surprise move and only came on as a late substitute during the closing minutes of the game.

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Senegal went ahead through Thiago Cionek's own goal eight minutes ahead of the half time interval, when he deflected Idrissa Gana Gueye's shot past goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

The lead was doubled after the interval Mbaye Niang beat Wojciech Szczesny to the ball and slotted home, although the Poles did manage to grab a late consolation through Grzegorz Krychowiak.

Kouyate, speaking ahead of the game said that it would be a dream come true to lead his nation into the Finals. "One of the dreams we had as kids is coming true, so we will have to enjoy it and give joy to the Senegalese people as well," he said.

"We’ve worked very hard for the last two to three weeks to prepare for the tournament. The last couple of weeks have been particularly intense, our coach has made us work very, very hard!"

West Ham United's latest signing, Lucasz Fabianski, was a substitute for Poland; you may see highlights from the match here.

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