Colombia-Poland clash a complicated affair for Perez…

Marcus Newton
June 25, 2018

Colombia's highest goalscorer said after the game against Japan that "I$3 t's them or us". In Mane, the Africans have a player who can win a match on his own. Now Gareth Southgate and Roberto Martinez's squads will meet on Thursday to determine who wins the group.

Senegal boss Aliou Cisse made a decision to put three up front for the match at Ekaterinburg Arena, his team's first against an Asian opponent at a World Cup.

For Cisse it was a tremendous triumph but more than that, it was just as significant for the symbolic message sent out by the 42-year-old's success: As the youngest coach and the only black coach among the 32 at Russian Federation 2018, Cisse confirmed the quality, acumen and all-round game suss of a new generation of emerging black coaches. At the World Cup, it has, except for one occasion, always been this way.

But, as history will show, it's common for African teams to fall short when it comes to the opening matches at the FIFA World Cup and this has been very common in the past 20 years when five representatives from the continent have featured at the event. A draw in Kazan on Sunday would leave both still in the hunt for a round-of-16 spot, but really only a win would do it for two teams that were favorites to finish in first and second of the group.

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse placed the blame on his teams' defence for letting Japan equalise twice and said he expected more from Kalidou Koulibaly and Salif Sane. "We have to show the world that we are doing something nice", said Senegal fan Gora Ndoye after the match.

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.

Their colleagues from William Hill about the same opinion - the triumph of Senegal can be supplied with a ratio of 2.38, and the victory of Japan and 3.3.

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"We didn't play a great game but we didn't lose..."

Your attention to the squads of Senegal and Japan to the 2018 world Cup, and for a complete schedule and standings of the Federation Internationale de Football Association world Cup in Russia. "It's only by winning matches that we can do better than them".

"The simple fact we're still in contention at the World Cup gives us the emotional drive we need for these two games we have remaining".

"We need to be able to play to our full potential rather than being reactive to the opposition's strength", coach Akira Nishino said. To do so, a Senegal defense led by Kalidou Koulibaly has to stay as focused as they were against Poland, when they nullified the impact of star striker Robert Lewandowski.

After scoring his first global goal, which proved to be a decisive second for Senegal against Poland, M'Baye Niang said that the story is still not over as they have a lot more to achieve. "Nothing is yet acquired, we must continue to work to achieve our goal", he added.

The second half was just as exciting as the first.

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