Amadou Sagna rips past Tahiti to record the first hat-trick of the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup
Poland is hosting the twenty-second edition of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup from the twenty-third of May to the fifteenth of June. India who had also submitted a bid to host the event lost out to Poland by a margin of four votes.
Twenty-four teams from six confederations would fight it out for the elusive trophy after earning qualification to the main event from their respective regional tournaments.
Defending Champions England have failed to qualify for the event after going down to Norway by three goals in the qualification play-off at the 2019 European Championships.
Six-time Champions Argentina, two-time Champions Portugal and 2013 winners France along with Italy, Colombia, Mali and host Poland are the favorite teams to clinch the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in 2019. The 24 teams got slotted into six groups of four each with the top two from each group qualifying for the knock-outs along with the four best placed third teams from the group stages.
The first match in Group A saw the African nation Senegal in action against Tahiti from Oceania. Senegal wasted no time as they recorded the quickest goal in the history of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup when midfielder Amadou Sagna slammed past the Tahitian custodian Moana Pito in under ten seconds.
The Young Lions of Teranga were off to a rollicking start after a long ball from the half-line was headed onto Sagna by Youssouph Badji. Sagna’s exceptional first-touch took the ball away from defender Samuel Liparo before blasting it past Pito.
Amadou Ciss had a brilliant chance to increase the lead, but Pito made himself big to deny Senegal a shot at the open goal.
The quality of the Senegalese attack became clear when Badji threaded the ball into the gap down the left wing. Ibrahima Niane sent a dangerous ball into the center which found Sagna creaming it past Pito to put Senegal two goals ahead.
Souleymane Aw whipped in a floater from the left wing where Badji jumped high above the Iron Warriors defenders to head to ball towards the left corner. A spectacular save from Pito ensured that the scoreline remained 2-0 as Singapore referee Muhammad Taqi blew the whistle to signal the end of the first half.
Senegal scored a third when a superb ball got sent in by Niane from the right wing. A poor clearance from defender Tevaitini Teumere sent the ball right into Sagna’s striking zone who scored the first hat-trick of the 2019 FIFA World cup in Poland at the Lublin Stadium.
Sagna was denied a fourth after a one-two with Dia N’Diaye saw him strike the left goal post and a weak follow-up shot from Ousseynou Niang got stopped by the Pito.
Senegal coach Youssouph Dabo would be happy with his wards' performance as they struck 26 shots on the goal of which nine were on target commanding 60% of the ball possession.
Senegal plays Colombia in their next fixture while Tahiti is up against hosts Poland.Published 25 May 2019, 08:31 IST