Another fantastic day of matches in the 2018 World Cup, starting with England thrashing Panama and Harry Kane’s hat trick, giving England their first knockout stage World Cup ticket since 2010. Later on, Japan and Senegal drew in a terrific performance to remain on top of Group H, followed by Colombia sending Poland home, while giving themselves one last opportunity to finish in the top two.
England 6 Panama 1 (Match Highlights)
England match Belgium at the top of Group G in goal difference, topping another 7-goal match that was far from a thriller, as England led 5-0 at half time thanks to a couple of Harry Kane (finished with a hat trick, the second of the tournament following Cristiano Ronaldo) penalty kicks and a wonderful Jesse Lingard goal among others. More than it says anything about England’s prospects in the round of 16, it tells the story of how weak Panama are. Still, they got a moment of happiness for players and fans, as Felipe Baloy scored the nation’s first ever World Cup goal, after his team was already 6 goals down.
Group G Table
Very straightforward in this group: England and Belgium will determine the 1-2 alignment in their clash, with England currently grabbing first due to… superior disciplinary record (less bookings). Tunisia and Panama will both play for finding something to smile about in a disappointing World Cup, albeit expected.
Japan 2 Senegal 2 (Match Highlights)
The two winners of the opening Group H matches couldn’t set themselves apart from the rest with an enjoyable, mistake-filled (especially on defense) draw. Senegal twice had the lead, but Japan kept coming back through the errors in a defense that might be fit to handle crosses, but less so against quick passing and off the ball movement. Keisuke Honda scored the final equalizer in the 78th minute, making sure both sides remain on top of the table for at least a few more days.
Poland 0 Colombia 3 (Match Highlights)
A massive and deserved win for Colombia, showing that when they’re not down to 10 men after one minute, they’re probably the best team in the group. It wasn’t easy in the first half, but Yerry Mina rose to connect with a James Rodriguez cross and set things in motion. Falcao and Juan Cuadrado, the latter Colombia’s best player on the pitch, finished the job in the second half, giving Colombia a breath of hope for the final round of matches, and putting pressure on both Senegal and Japan. Poland, somewhat shockingly, are out.
Group H Table
Colombia beating Poland sets up a mega clash with Senegal. Colombia have to win in order to advance, Senegal just need to draw. Japan drawing against Poland should be enough for them to qualify. A win guarantees top spot (depends on goal difference). A loss, depending on the other game’s result, might still be enough.
Goal of the Day – Jesse Lingard, England
5 goals: Harry Kane (England)
4 goals: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Romelu Lukaku (Belgium)
3 goals: Denis Cheryshev (Russia), Diego Costa (Spain)
2 goals: Artem Dzyuba (Russia), Mile Jedinak (Australia), Luka Modric (Croatia), Philippe Coutinho (Brazil), Ahmed Musa (Nigeria), Eden Hazard (Belgium), John Stones (England)
1 goal: Yuri Gazinsky, Aleksandr Golovin (Russia), Jose Maria Gimenez, Luis Suárez (Uruguay), Nacho (Spain), Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe (France), Sergio Aguero (Argentina), Alfred Finnbogason (Iceland), Christian Eriksen,Yussuf Poulsen (Denmark), Aleksandar Kolarov, Aleksandar Mitrovic (Serbia), Hirving Lozano, Carlos Vela, Chicharito (Mexico), Neymar (Brazil), Steven Zuber, Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri (Switzerland), Andreas Granqvist, Ola Toivonen (Sweden), Dries Mertens, Michy Batshuayi (Belgium), Ferjani Sassi, Dylan Bronn, Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia), Shinji Kagawa, Yuya Osaka, Takashi Inui, Keisuke Honda (Japan), Juan Quintero, Yerry Mina, Radamel Falcao, Juan Cuadrado (Colombia), M’Baye Niang, Sadio Mane, Moussa Wague (Senegal), Grzegorz Krychowiak (Poland), Mohamed Salah (Egypt), Ante Rebic, Ivan Rakitic (Croatia), Son Heung-Min (South Korea), Marco Reus (Germany), Jesse Lingard (England), Felipe Baloy (Panama)
Tournament goals: 85 goals in 32 matches, 2.66 per match.
Day 12 Matches:
Uruguay vs Russia (Group A)
Saudi Arabia vs Egypt (Group A)
Iran vs Portugal (Group B)
Spain vs Morocco (Group B)