Match 1: Colombia v Japan (1-2)
In what promised to be an exciting game, Japan took an early lead after Colombia’s Carlos Sanchez was sent off for a handball. It took nearly two minutes for Sanchez to leave the pitch after protesting his innocence, but when he finally did make his way down the tunnel, Shinji Kagawa stepped up to score from the penalty spot.
Japan didn’t make their man advantage count and it was actually Colombia who looked the better team at times. Then just before halftime, Colombia were level. A freekick from just outside the box was cleverly placed under the wall and beat the Japanese goalkeeper at his near post.
However, Japan retook control in the second half and went back in front in the 74th minute. From a corner, Yuya Osako’s glancing header struck the inside of the post and found the back of the net.
Colombia had failed to win their previous ten FIFA World Cup games when they conceded first, and that streak was not broken today.
Match 2: Poland v Senegal (1-2)
Senegal became the first African team to win at this year’s FIFA World Cup after they survived their opening group game. With Colombia losing earlier in the day, Group G is now wide open as Japan and Senegal sit top of the group.
It was a game of few chances and controversy. After an own goal by Poland’s Thiago Cionek in the first half, Senegal’s second goal was the big talking point of the match.
M’Baye Niang sprinted back onto the field of play after injury and immediately intercepted a back pass. He then beat Szczesny to the ball and slotted home what seemed like the winning goal.
Lewandowski had very little chances as he was marked out of the game but Polan ensured it was a nervy final few minutes for Senegal. Grzegorz Krychowiak headed home from a free kick in the 86th minute but it was too little too late for Poland.
Match 3: Russia v Egypt (3-1)
Not much was expected from Russia coming into the tournament but they have now qualified for the Round of 16 with one group match still to play. Not even Magical Mo Salah could save Egypt from all but being eliminated as they now need Uruguay to drop points against Saudi Arabia.
A calamitous own goal from Egypt’s Ahmed Fathi broke the deadlock before two quick fire goals from Denis Cheryshev and Artem Dzyuba put the hosts 3-0 up with half an hour left to play.
Salah did manage to pull a goal back for Egypt as they were awarded a penalty seventeen minutes from time. However, just like Poland in the previous match, it was too little too late.
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