Russia makes last 16; Japan & Senegal in shock wins

2018 FIFA World Cup


Hosts Russia took another giant step towards booking a place in the last 16 while Japan and Senegal registered shock wins over Colombia and Poland respectively on day 6 of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

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Emphatic Russia moves closer

Russia’s World Cup dream continues as they are on the brink of booking their place in the knockout stage, after a dominant 3-1 victory over Egypt in their second group A encounter at Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg.

It was Russia that dominated the game in the first few minutes albeit many expected it to be Egypt with Mohamed Salah returning. Russia looked threatening from the very onset with their pace upfront, but could not create any clear-cut opportunities, despite the Egyptian defense looking shaky.

Egypt started to look dangerous as the game went on and they looked dangerous from set-pieces as well as counter-attacks. But their lack of quality in the final third denied them of the opportunity to take the lead through the few hard chances they got.

Half Time – Russia 0 – 0 Egypt

Roman Zobnin found the back of the net through a deflection off Egyptian right-back Ahmed Fathy, just 2 minutes into the second half.

The fairytale continued with Russia netting further 2 goals in the next 15 minutes. The first was an easy tap-in from the winger Denis Cheryshev, whilst Artem Dzyuba got hold of a lovely pass from Ilya Kutepov, cut past the Egyptian defender Ali Gabr, before putting it calmly into the bottom right corner past the diving Mohamed El-Shenawy to score their third.

Egypt bounced back with Mo Salah comfortably slotting in a penalty in the 73rd minute, but could not go further against a stubborn Russian defense.

Full Time: Russia 3 – 1 Egypt

Man of the Match – Denis Cheryshev (Russia)

Goal Scorers
Russia – Ahmed Fathy 47’ (OG), Denis Cheryshev 59’, Artem Dzyuba 62’
Egypt – Mohamed Salah 73’

Yellow Cards
Russia – Fyodor Smolov 84’
Egypt – Hassan Trezeguet 57’

Senegal upset Poland

Senegal in their return to the World Cup created an upset, as they did in 2002 against France, defeating Poland 2-1 at the Spartak Stadium, Moscow.

It was a good start with both teams launching attacks but neither team created any proper chance to open the score sheet. Some missed passes and lack of creativity in the midfield was displayed by both the sides.

In the 18th minute the first clear chance for Senegal came from a through ball to Mbaye Niang but the forward’s shot went wide off the far post. Less than a minute later a cross came to Kamil Grosicki but the Poland winger sent the header over the crossbar.

In the 37th minute, after some lovely interplay from Senegal, Idrissa Gueye’s shot from around 25 yards which was probably going off target got a deflection off Poland defender Thiago Cionek and went in to the goal.

Half Time – Poland 0 – 1 Senegal

The second half started with a free kick for Poland in the 47th minute but the Robert Lewandowski’s effort was saved by Khadim NDiaye.

In the 60th minute Senegal doubled their advantage with another goal. It was a wrongly timed back pass from the halfway line which couldn’t find the last defender of the Poland. Poland goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczesny ran out of the box to clear the ball but Niang went past the goal keeper with a simple touch and tapped the ball into the goal.

Poland came back into the game in the 86th minute with a goal. Grosicki’s free kick was perfectly headed to the far post by Grzegorz Krychowiak. Poland tried their best for the equalizer but the additional 4 minutes was not enough.

Full Time – Poland 1 – 2 Senegal

Man of the Match – Mbaye Niang (Senegal)

Goal Scorers
Poland – Grzegorz Ktychowiak 86’
Senegal – Thiago Cionek 37’(OG), M’Baye Niang 60’

Yellow Cards
Poland – Grzegorz Ktychowiak 12’
Senegal – Salif Sane 49’, Idrissa Gueye 72’

Japan shock Colombia

Upset after upset as Japan defeated more favoured Colombia 2-1 in the first match of Group H of the 2018 FIFA World Cup held at the Moldovia Arena.

Things did not start well for the Los Cafetoros with Carlos Sanchez being sent off for deliberate hand ball in the 2nd minute.

Yuya Osako brought up the first shot for Japan but was denied by David Ospina who punched away the ball. The ball found its way to Shinji Kagawa who tried to make the follow up only to find Sanchez putting up his hand in the way. The referee had no hesitation in showing the red card and the penalty which Kagawa put away easily.

Even with one man down, Colombia responded to the game very well bringing up attacks with Juan Cuadrado and Juan Quintero running riot on the wings. Japan got plenty more chances to extend their lead with Osako and Kagawa bringing up the attack but was thwarted by their own inability to finish up the opportunities.

They were punished for their incompetence when Quintero struck a beautiful free-kick right underneath the wall into goal. Japanese keeper Eiji Kawashima was too late to react, collecting the ball just inside the goal line.

Half Time – Colombia 1 – 1 Japan

The tables seemed to turn in the second half with Colombia who kept their heads high in the first half falling behind under the pressure. Japan finally taking use of the one-man advantage seemed to make headway increasing the rate of attacks and shots on goal.

Their efforts paid off when Osako managed to bring back the lead for the Samurai Blues from well placed header for Keisuke Honda corner in the 73rd minute.

Even James Rodriguez, coming off the bench, could not help Colombia as Japan held strong to protect their lead and win, which is only their 5th World Cup finals victory.

Full Time – Colombia 1 – 2 Japan

Man of the Match – Yuya Osako

Goal Scorers
Colombia – Juan Quintero 39’
Japan – Shinji Kagawa 6’(P), Yuya Osako 73’

Yellow Cards
Colombia – Wilmar Barrios 64’, James Rodriguez 86’
Japan – Eiji Kawashima 90’

Red Cards
Colombia – Carlos Sanchez 3’

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