You really don’t see this every day.
Senegal had a 1-0 lead over Poland after an own-goal late in the first half. M’Baye Niang had gone off injured and was waiting to come back on the pitch, which requires the referee to signal him back on. Which the ref did.
Except it was while the ball was coming back towards Poland’s goal, and thanks to the odd circumstances, Niang found himself onside and totally unmarked:
It’s pretty obvious from the replays that the ref did indeed wave Niang on, but it essentially served as a trick play benefitting Senegal, the soccer equivalent of hiding an eligible receiver on the sideline:
The ref may have put Poland in a bit of a bind there, but it’s hard to argue Niang didn’t do a ton himself; he read the play perfectly, beat both the defender and the keeper to the ball, took it into space, and coolly finished. It’s a great goal in itself, even if it’s going to be overshadowed by the circumstances.
If Senegal’s lead holds, it will be the second upset of the day in Group H, which already saw Japan take down Colombia. The group table would certainly not be what anyone expected.