Published: Sun, June 24, 2018
Culture | By Wayne Carr

Japan stay focused on Senegal despite rising expectations

Japan stay focused on Senegal despite rising expectations

With no standout contender for glory in Russian Federation in the group, all four nations will be confident of challenging to top the table and get a favourable last-16 draw to build momentum for the tournament.

Forty years ago, an African country won a game at the FIFA World Cup for the first time, when Tunisia thrashed Mexico 3-1 at the 1978 edition of the tournament in Argentina, with that victory masterminded a local coach Abdelmajid Chetali.

"I think we've got a very good team", he added. But despite not making the desired impact in Madrid, the now-Bayern playmaker remains the superstar of this Colombia side, the subject of tabloid fodder and on whose shoulders the weight of the national team's success is lodged. Goals are rarely in short supply when Poland play as their 10 qualifiers averaged more than four goals.

Coach: Adam Nawalka - Turned Poland from a counter-attacking team into one which seeks to dominate possession.

In other games on Sunday, Japan can all but guarantee themselves a place in the second round if they follow up their surprise opening defeat of Colombia by beating Senegal in Group H.

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Maguire cited Kane, who was continuously fouled in the Tunisia match, as an example of a calm head. Speaking to Press Association Sport after the game, Alli said: "Hopefully I am okay".

Come Sunday, Senegal head coach Aliou Cisse would likely set a 4-4-2 formation once again and no major changes are expected in the starting XI.

In their opening 2-1 win at Moscow's Spartak Stadium, the Lions of Teranga put the clamps on Poland, with Napoli center back Kalidou Koulibaly outstanding as he kept star striker Robert Lewandowski quiet throughout the match.

But he is wary of the African side's pace and power.

We've nearly reached the final round of group games at the 2018 World Cup but in groups G and H, there's still plenty to be decided. This is what the World Cup is all about.

That victory ensured that Africa, the second most populated continent in the world with a number of high-profile footballers who have been knocking on the door of greatness in recent years, would not suffer the embarrassment of having all its five representatives losing their opening matches in Russian Federation. Qualifying was a struggle this time. Because of his experience he's an interesting, important player for Colombia, but we are talking about an important position and can't make a mistake there.

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But in the three and half years of the rule, there has been perpetual sparring between PDP and BJP over several issues. It was different this time given that negotiations were on with Pakistan, terrorists and separatists.

Radamel Falcao was a notable absentee from the 2014 World Cup when James Rodriguez's six-goal haul carried Colombia to a historic quarter-final finish. However, The Samba Boys have never had a black manager at the World Cup!

Stanislav Cherchesov's hosts, the lowest-ranked at the World Cup, have already qualified and surpassed the expectations of the Russian media, who may now perhaps give the team more favourable coverage. Leicester City forward Shinji Okazaki was a substitute against Colombia, but may be fit to start after recovering from a right calf strain.

Japan performed one of the shocks of the tournament in their first group stage fixture.

This is the last night of the second round of group games before Monday brings us two helpings of double headers.

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Fans from Santa Catarina, in southern Brazil, said that the new cut signaled a new start to the World Cup for the team. Lionel Messi's Argentina will be closely watching the 4pm kick-off between Nigeria and Iceland .

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