Poland takes 1-0 lead over Japan in Group H
- Author: Rosalie Stanley Jun 29, 2018,
Jun 29, 2018, 14:46
Unfortunately, a loss to Mexico in their first game saw them fall flat in the competition, and they seemed like an uninspired team who only recorded one win.
Some felt that poor refereeing decisions had cost the teams, although they ultimately reflected on the lack of talent in the African ranks.
In Tokyo's trendy Shibuya, elated supporters streamed out of sports bars after the final whistle at around 1 a.m. local time, the sound of horns and "Nippon" chants filling the streets as they converged upon the district's iconic pedestrian scramble.
Youri Tielemans did test Jordan Pickford with a fiercely struck effort just six minutes in that forced the Everton stopper into his best save of the World Cup so far.
Colombia's prospects looked bleak a half-hour into the game when playmaker James Rodriguez limped out of the game due to injury.
Fair play points are being used to settle groups for the first time at a World Cup, with Japan and Senegal finishing with the same number of points and identical goal difference and goals scored tallies.
The Colombia coach said he was "extremely concerned" about the player's fitness but was pleased that the team rose to the occasion to snatch the win against Senegal.
Nishino's tactics were a gamble, but then he had already shown his willingness to take risks with his starting lineup.
Poland, though, came closest to taking the lead when in the 32nd minute, goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima did well to keep a well-guided header from Kamil Grosicki out. Belgium has scored nine goals and has a goal differential of +7, both are now the best of any team in the tournament.
But with minutes remaining, any kind of urgency went from the game. Colombia and Japan end up advancing, Senegal is out.
Igor Smolnikov of Russian Federation reacts after being shown a second yellow card by referee Antonio Malang Diedhiou during a Group A match against Uruguay earlier this week.
The first off day of the tournament comes Friday, before the knockout stage starts Saturday. In the second half our team played somewhat better, I think we did control the match and I'm disappointed for my team and for this generation and these players who fight every single day for our country.