MOSCOW - Senegal are "not jumping up and down" after starting their World Cup campaign with a victory over Poland to revive memories of their run into the quarter-finals on their tournament debut in 2002.
Coach Aliou Cisse moved quickly to feet-on-the-ground mode in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow after seeing the Lions of Teranga outmuscle the fancied Poles with a 2-1 victory which has shaken up Group H. "This victory means we are able to enter the competition in the best possible way, but we are not too euphoric because we know there will be a difficult match next against Japan," he said.
Japan had earlier beaten 10-man Colombia 2-1 in Saransk, and are next up for Senegal in Yekaterinburg on Sunday. Senegal's victory, courtesy of a first-half own goal by Thiago Cionek and a second on the hour by man-of-the-match Mbaye Niang inevitably drew comparisons with Senegal's stunning opening victory over then world champions France in Seoul in 2002.
But 42-year-old Cisse, who who captained the 2002 World Cup team and played much of his time in France, said Tuesday's win at Senegal's World Cup return could not really be compared to the impact of the victory of 16 years ago. "It doesn't taste the same at all," he said.
"France and Senegal have a history. France was the country that colonised Senegal. We were the children of immigrants, the children of that France, the France that gave a lot to us and gave a lot to our parents, and the France that also trained us at the training academies in France. Things are very different here but it is just as important as the victory we got against France."