England, Colombia back in action


Midfielder Keisuke Honda came off the bench to salvage a 2-2 draw for Japan against Senegal, as both teams were locked at the top of Group H following an entertaining encounter on Sunday.

After the goal, Japan coach Akira Nishino immediately pointed to Honda and six minutes later the recently installed manger was clenching his fist. "I asked him if he wanted to meet me but he said no".

Cruelly deprived of competing in Brazil by a horrific knee injury, Falcao watched from the sidelines as James, whose sumptuous volley against Uruguay was voted goal of the tournament, took Colombia on a whirlwind journey on their first World Cup appearance since France '98.

Kane became the third England player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup game following Geoff Hurst in the 1966 final and Gary Lineker against Poland in the 1986 tournament. The Bayern Munich player's six goals in the 13 qualifying games he started - a hard feat in CONMEBOL qualifying, especially with four of them coming away from home - highlight how vital he is.

With Japan and Senegal both winning their opening games, victory for either would virtually seal a place in the last 16 in Russian Federation.

Sadio Mane gave Senegal the lead in the 11th minute with his first World Cup goal.

"We're married for 18 years and today we are here sharing the big moment when our two countries are going to play together", said Isabela. A loss―or even a draw―would be disastrous, especially if Japan and Senegal share the spoils a few hours earlier.

On 71 minutes, Japan allowed a scuffed cross to go right across their goal and defender Moussa Wague arrived all alone at the far post to grab what looked like being an unlikely victor.

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Cisse and his men are now dreaming of a repeat of their run to the quarter-finals in 2002 - he captained that team.

Having been considered one of Colombia's first choice centre backs, alongside Davinson Sanchez, it was a surprise to see Mina left out of the lineup in the opening game.

The Liverpool forward tapped the ball into the net after goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima was unable to control a shot from Youssouf Sabaly.

"The simple fact we're still in contention at the World Cup gives us the emotional drive we need for these two games we have remaining". We should have played sharper.

After the game was over, the Japanese and Senegalese fans - equipped with blue trash bags - joined forces to clean the stadium.

"We are happy to be here, this is a special day for us, it's a kind of historical day for us as a family", said Fabio.

Senegal conceded from a set piece against Poland - a common theme for African sides at this tournament - and they'll need to be wary of Maya Yoshida.

For the second straight match, Japan had high-profile support in the stands. He was dropping deeper and finding good spaces against Colombia, and his use of the ball in the second half was particularly effective.