Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Honda hits late Japan leveller to blow World Cup group wide open

Senegal Coach's Fist Pumping Celebration Meme Is a Real World Cup Highlight Aliou Cissé an icon on the field and onlineMore
Domingo Copeland | 25 June, 2018, 02:14

Kane joins Geoff Hurst and Gary Lineker as the only England players ever to score a World Cup hat-trick.

Roman Torres missed a good chance just before Felipe Baloy's consolation strike.

Lewandowski would surely love to have a player of the quality of Rodriguez providing him with ammunition but it is Colombia's Radamel Falcao who is most likely to benefit if the attacking midfielder starts in Kazan.

It's clear that England are a cohesive and able attacking unit, it's less clear whether that's true of their defence.

Japan struck back in the 34th minute when Takashi Inui scored with Japan's first shot on goal, but Moussa Wague restored the lead with a shot high into the net in the 71st.

Japan and Senegal head into the tie with an opportunity to book a place in the last-16 of the tournament.

Senegal, who made an impressive debut to the World Cup in 2002, when they made a successful run to the quarter final, beating defending champions France in the process, are hoping to surpass that record.

Ten-man Colombia lost 2-1 to Japan in another first round shock but the South Americans could be bolstered by the return of danger man James Rodriguez to the starting side after the playmaker started on the bench against the Blue Samurai while recovering from a muscle injury. It's hard to analyze Japan due to the 88-minute one man advantage they held against Colombia.

The livewire Mane said he had attempted to meet up with central defender Yoshida before their Group H clash in Yekaterinburg - but to no avail.

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Teenager Matteo was sporting the bright yellow shirt of his father's country with the younger Marcel dressed in the red of Poland, but they plan to show their neutrality by swapping at halftime.

For England fans, the pain of losing to Iceland in the 2016 European Championships and a first-round exit without a win at the 2014 World Cup, was finally slipping away.

"Definitely, James is a vital player for our national squad", Pekerman told reporters at his pre-match news conference in Kazan.

Both Poland and Colombia fell short of the expectations in their first fixture, setting up a do-or-die situation for both sides on Sunday.

Yerry Mina headed in Colombia's opener in 40th minute after Rodriguez picked the defender out with a sublime cross.

- Only once before have Colombia lost both of their opening two games in a World Cup tournament, doing so against Romania and United States of America back in 1994. The ominous message referenced Andres Escobar, who was shot and killed days after returning to Colombia from the 1994 World Cup, where he scored an own-goal in a loss to the host United States. It wasn't really his fault here as Poland created little for him, forcing him to come deep and look for the ball.

Without wishing to take anything away from a hugely impressive Japan performance, they were offered a huge helping hand by a Carlos Sanchez brainfade which handed Japan a penalty and a one-man advantage for nearly the entire 90 minutes.

Lingard made it 3-0 in the 36th minute with a handsome strike from just outside the area before Stones nodded in his second and England's fourth from a cleverly worked free kick routine.

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