Well, what a lovely day its been. The sun was out, England struck six and there were two other games that didn’t disappoint.
Match 1: England Vs. Panama (6-1)
It’s coming home…! It may be a bit early to say that but this England side are looking strong. Granted it was only Panama but it was a solid performance against a frustrating side.
The Panamanians proved to be very physical opposition. They were caught grappling and tussling with the England 11 on too many occasions. Gladly, however, there were two deserved penalties awarded to us which captain Kane dispatched spectacularly.
England dominated the first half and John stones scored two excellent goals to put himself on the verge of a world cup hattrick. Lingard who found himself in the wars early on from some very strong Panamanian tackles still shone brightly and curled home a sensational strike into the top corner from outside the box.
The second half started slowly as England tried to conserve their energy. Kane managed to grab a hattrick after a Ruben Loftus-Cheek effort was deflected off his heel. There were calls for offside but he was just played on by the Panama man’s foot. A timely third it was as well as he was subbed immediately after with Vardy coming on and Delph replacing Lingard. Henderson assumed the captain’s responsibilities and lead admirably it must be said. Although he did oversee Panama’s first ever World Cup goal. It was a poor one to concede from England’s point of view.
We did manage to see out the game with ease and managed to create a couple of chances as Panama toned down the physicality. Stones was close to his 3rd but the single second-half goal was enough for Southgate’s side. The result means we now sit top of the group level on everything with the Belgians. We are however separated by fair play having only received 2 yellows to the Belgian’s 3.
This is the first time England have scored 4 Goals at the world cup since 1966… is this another sign?
Match 2: Japan Vs. Senegal (2-2)
The African side looked to become the first African side to win both their opening games since Ghana in 2006. They were on course to do so early on as Mane put them ahead after capitalising on a goalkeeping error.
Japan were level come halftime though, after Inui’s sublime curling effort. They could have gone in ahead when Osako hit the crossbar but it wasn’t to be.
A 71st minute angled strike from 19-year old defender Moussa Wague looked to have secured the win for the Senegalese. Super-sub Keisuke Honda came off the bench to salvage a point for his side just 7 minutes after Wague thought he’d won it.
Both sides are level in group H with 4 points apiece.
Match 3: Poland Vs. Columbia (0-3)
Columbia’s tournament finally got up and running as Radamel Falcao scored his first World Cup goal. it was a very convincing performance against a lacklustre Poland side who have booked themselves a ticket home.
The danger man James Rodriguez pinged in a cross which was met by the head of Barcelona’s Yerry Mina for the first of the day. Falcao grabbed the second with a low driven finish in the second half. While up the other end Bayern Munich ace Lewandowski struggled with a lack of service and chances. He did, however, have his side’s best chance in the dying minutes as Ospina tipped over his long-range effort.
Columbia’s third goal of the day came from Juan Cuadrado. The former Chelsea man raced onto Rodriguez’s sublime ball behind the polish defence and produced a nice cultured finish to round it off.
The result now means Poland are out, but Columbia can still finish top if they win their final game and results go their way.
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