Group H is probably the most well-balanced group in the World Cup. On paper, Poland and Colombia were the favorites to qualify for the round of 16 but Japan and Senegal showed today they are no pushovers. Both teams defied the odds and won their games 2-1. As we predicted in our World Cup preview of African teams, Senegal could very well be the surprise package in Russia. Speaking of the hosts, the Russians are almost qualified for the knockout phase. With a convincing 3-1 win against Egypt in the last game of the day, the Sbornaya now have 6 points ahead of their final game.
Early red card handicaps Colombia
Japan became the first Asian team to beat a South American nation at a World Cup. The Blue Samurai benefited from an early red card for Colombia’s Carlos Sanchez, which also yielded a penalty. Dortmund’s Shinji Kagawa converted the spot kick. Colombia managed to get one back but eventually Japan managed to wear the opposition down and claim all 3 points.
Africa finally has a win
Senegal showed a lot of energy and enthusiasm in their game with highly rated Poland. The Lions of Teranga were up 2-0 by the 60th minute. Poland rallied late in the game to pull one back but Senegal held on and became the first African nation to win a game at this World Cup.
Salah is going home early
Mohamed Salah’s inclusion in the starting 11 was a positive sign for Egypt before the game. Their star player was finally going to have his World Cup debut. While Salah did score a penalty, he was well controlled by the Russians. Coach Cherchesov tactics’ were spot on. The first half ended in a stalemate but an Egypt own goal followed by two more quick successive goals from Russia killed the game. Unless Saudi Arabia can pull off a miracle tomorrow, Egypt should be on the plane back home next week and Russia can look forward to the Round of 16.
Group H: Senegal and Japan lead the group with 3 points each.
Group A: Russia lead with 6 points, followed by Uruguay who have 3 points with one less game. Egypt are third and Saudi Arabia last, both with zero points.
Group A and B are next:
- 8:00 AM EST Portugal v Morocco
- 11:00 AM EST Uruguay v Saudi Arabia
- 2:00 PM EST Iran v Spain
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