Senegal back in action, England on brink of qualification

Poland vs. Colombia - 6/24/18 World Cup Soccer Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Senegal can wrap up their passage to the knockout stages by getting the better of Japan, but it won't be an easy game.

Both teams will have to go for it in Kazan in the 2am kick off and there's not much to choose between the sides: Colombia are slight favourites at $2.3 with both Poland and a stalemate at $3.4.

They unwittingly found themselves at the centre of a Twitter storm this week after businessman Alan Sugar tweeted a picture of the Senegal team with the caption, "I recognise some of these guys from the beach in Marbella".

In mitigation, Colombia played nearly the whole game with 10 men after Carlos Sanchez was sent off on three minutes.

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

Radamel Falcao was a notable absentee from the 2014 World Cup when James Rodriguez's six-goal haul carried Colombia to a historic quarter-final finish. Juan Quintero was confident and precise in his passing.

"We know he has many qualities, but we must take lots into consideration [when making selections] like injuries, like the one with James".

My favorite image of the night might be old Colombian stars Carlos Valderrama and René Higuita celebrating in the stands. "They're physical, they're fast and they'll play in front of a big crowd", he said.

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Not to be outdone, Senegal completed its own upset about thee hours later, beating a Polish side that was dominant by every statistical measure but had the misfortune of conceding a first-half own goal.

England destroyed Panama 6-1 on Sunday, and the win clinches a spot in the round of 16 for the Three Lions and Belgium, which crushed Tunisia 5-2 on Saturday. The only question is how England will respond once it faces a real challenge against a tough team on the field. Nine players made their World Cup debuts against Tunisia, and over half the team is 25 or younger. Panama was better than the US over a 10-game qualifying tournament, full stop.

This is the last night of the second round of group games before Monday brings us two helpings of double headers. There were so many off-the-ball pushes and arguments that England players did well to retain their cool. Senegal has been a blast to watch, showing off copious amounts of skill and terrific work by coach Aliou Cissé to have four points from two games. And Colombia was Colombia on Sunday.

"In our group, all the teams are very even".

"I think it's a personal pride to hear everyone talking about me", he said. Why was he excellent? Jesse Lingard, Harry Kane, Kieran Trippier, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and their team-mates have played a dazzling, free-flowing style of football with plenty of passing and dynamic movement off the ball. Then, Grisha whistled for another penalty on a wrestling tackle in the box by Panama later in the game.

But Nigeria fell 0-1 at the hands of Argentina, South Africa, in their second appearance at the World Cup, battled long and hard to secure a 2-2 draw against Paraguay while Cameroon were also held to a 1-1 draw by the Republic of Ireland in Niigata. You can order it here.

Grant Wahl has covered soccer for 22 years at Sports Illustrated.

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