Honda Brings Japan Back to Level Terms Against Senegal

Senegal Coach's Fist Pumping Celebration Meme Is a Real World Cup Highlight

The younger, friendlier squad - a minor dust-up with the media notwithstanding - began with a 2-1 win over Tunisia on a late header by Harry Kane, who also scored the team's first goal.

In mitigation, Colombia played nearly the whole game with 10 men after Carlos Sanchez was sent off on three minutes. The South Americans pounded Poland, 3-0, on Sunday to stave off elimination and earn a chance to move on the final matchday.

Poland defender Bartosz Bereszynski warned: "We know very well what is this game about, but we are optimists".

It's the first World Cup since 2006 for Poland, whose fans are likely to travel to Russian Federation in large numbers. Juan Quintero was confident and precise in his passing. James Rodriguez started and made the impact we all knew he could, dishing two assists. The mark of England in recent major tournaments is a group of players, who look good when playing for the nation's biggest club sides, suddenly freezing and looking stifled by the weight of the Three Lions shirt.

It feels odd to write that at a World Cup, but it's still early!

Panama, though, proved against a powerful Belgian side that they won't be walkovers as they held Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard at bay in the first half, before conceding three goals in the second. The only question is how England will respond once it faces a real challenge against a tough team on the field.

Can England set up a Group G shoot-out with Belgium? However, The Samba Boys have never had a black manager at the World Cup! They may be unlikely to appear together, but this has been a tournament full of surprises.




This is the last night of the second round of group games before Monday brings us two helpings of double headers.

Among several experienced Japan players to fall foul of former coach Vahid Halilhodzic's attempt to radically change their approach after he took charge in 2015, Honda's World Cup dream only took shape when the France-Bosnian was sacked in April.

Japanese soccer fans did not get the win they wanted but took heart from their team's grit as the Samurai Blue came from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Senegal, keeping their hopes of an improbable place in the World Cup last 16 on track.

With this draw, Japan and Senegal both sit atop Group H with four points.

Poland became the first European side and the first team who were seeded in their group to crash out of the competition.

With dad Fabio hailing from Colombia and mum Isabela from Poland, June 24 was always going to be a special World Cup day for the Perez family but they started it as they start every Sunday - in church. "It is a pressure to hear them talk about me but it is a trap to be avoided", the 26-year-old Mane said on Saturday, beaming broadly. Why was he excellent? The first penalty came when Jesse Lingard was fouled. Then, Grisha whistled for another penalty on a wrestling tackle in the box by Panama later in the game.

Before their afternoon training session Thursday, the team received a visit from Princess Hisako, honorary patron of the Japan Football Association. He is the only black coach at this World Cup.

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