Fans were still settling into their seats and the clocks had only just ticked past 6pm local time in both Gdynia and Lublin when goals were scored at both venues. Senegal’s Amadou Sagna hit the target within seconds of kick-off against Tahiti and would go on to complete his hat-trick in the opening Group A fixture, but there was no such luck for hosts Poland, who succumbed to defeat against Colombia in the section’s other match.
In Group B, Davide Frattesi opened the scoring for Italy after just three minutes to help his team to a narrow 2-1 win over a Mexico side with plenty of tournament experience. South American champions Ecuador were unable to live up to their billing as favourites and, despite holding the lead at half-time, were held to a 1-1 draw by Japan.
Record-breaking goal: Amadou Sagna kicked off Poland 2019 with the fastest goal in competition history, breaking the deadlock for Senegal against Tahiti after just 9.6 seconds to surpass the previous best-mark set by Nigeria’s Monday Odiaka in 1985. Incidentally, the last time a hat-trick was scored at a U-20 World Cup was four years ago; nobody managed the feat at Korea Republic 2017.
Nightmare for Walukiewicz: Poland’s ambitions at the tournament rest squarely on the shoulders of defender Sebastian Walukiewicz, who is considered one of his country’s brightest talents and who will join Italian top-flight outfit Cagliari after the tournament. However, it was his mistake that allowed Ivan Angulo to give Colombia the lead in the 23rd minute.
Fantastic atmosphere in Lodz: The hosts may have started with a defeat, but the approximately 17,500 fans at the Lodz Stadium were nevertheless in fine voice, noisily cheering their team on unconditionally despite falling behind.
Tahiti 0-3 Senegal
Poland 0-2 Colombia
Mexico 1-2 Italy
Japan 1-1 Ecuador