Welcome to the highlight of Group H
Maybe being the last of all group affecting the group standing. Not! But the temporary standing for Group H is really upside down with both seeded team are in the bottom and the underdog teams are on the top.
So, these second group match is really important for everybody. For the 2 teams in the bottom, losing means go home. For the leader, winning means the knock-out stage.
Japan vs Senegal
Pre-match commentary and tipping
- Senegal has made a surprise by beating Poland. Now with a half foot already in the Top 16, it is their job to make sure their journey in this world cup.
- Against Japan, Senegal needs to leverage on their physical aspect against Japan with their small physical dimension.
- With high tempo game, Japan will be outrun and make mistakes – that’s the time for Aliou Cissé’s squad to score.
- While the winning was real, not too many people believe that Japan got what it takes to be a good team. They reckoned that Japan seems pretty competitive because it was 11 men vs 10 men. So winning this game is very important for morale because they need to confirm that they did have some good things.
- Even people were asking whether their small stature can become a disadvantage. The Japan coach cheeky said in the press conference that he already ask every player to eat a lot to gain 5kg and grow 5cm taller.
Senegal should be able to win from Japan comfortably. 2-0 for Senegal
- And once again Japan made a surprise. They did not lose, and they actually dominated in this quiet high tempo match.
- Senegal scored early in 11′ when Sadio Mane crush the ball into the net with his knee as the goalkeeper forget to put glue on his gloves. 23 minute later, Takashi Inui scored with a flawless curving kick passing 2 defenders beautifully.
- And as the tempo was increasing at 2nd half, Moussa Wague scored his first international goal after a chaos in front of Japan’s net.
- But 7 minutes later, substitute Keisuke Honda scored the equalizer – also from a struggle in front of the posts
- The match deserved to be ended in a draw. Both teams are really in par with each other and both play positive attacking football that is really good for entertaining all the fans of football.
- And as a bonus, they are both still in the top of group H ladder. Both needing just a draw from final group match to qualify from group stage.
Poland vs Columbia
Pre-match commentary and tipping
- Columbia has shown in Japan match that their morale is very high. Being a 10-man-squad practically the whole game, Columbia still managed to put up a fight, Of course, Japan is not Spain, otherwise, with 1 man advantage, it would be a slaughter.
- It is now the time for Colombia to play as the strategy they intend to play. With 11 men.
- Not to disrespect to Senegal, but Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was the one mostly to blame for Senegal’s 2nd goal. For sure he will not repeat the same mistake. But this blunder also shows that the defending team also need to work harder in defending their territory
- Poland will be man-marked Lewandowski, so it is time to shine for other players
- So, overall Columbia would still in front. So, 2-1 for Columbia
- Poland got beaten 0 to 3. And most people will be in disbelief that it is Columbia who gives Polan a boot from the world cup, in a very convincing way.
- It takes a bit of time for Columbia to find its form. But when the 2 meters tall Yerry Mina take a header high in the sky at 40′, nobody challenged him. In fact, looking at the recording, why in the world he was given so much space by the defender. 1-0.
- Robert Lewandowski did make one or two chances, but the Columbia defenders were really disciplined in neutralizing him. Unfortunately, Poland does not have any other attacking power as efficient as Lewandoski.
- Then Columbia was unstoppable Falcao in 70′ and Cuadrado at 75′ sweeten the deal to bring Poland to its knee. Both goals were coming from some sort of fast break counter-attack and in both occasion, the defender gave too much room to move in the dangerous area. Back to the drawing board, Poland…
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Standing after the 2nd match in Group H
Comparing the group standing before and after the matches seems giving us only very little difference. Japan and Senegal are still on top of the ladder. And Poland is out of the knockout stage.
Entering the last match, the other 3 teams are still all in contention. Japan and Senegal just need a draw where Colombia need to win to get through. Of course more on these in the next post.
Thanks for reading