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"It will be like a final".

Senegal are not unduly anxious about taking on Japan in Sunday's Group H clash despite the Asians possessing plenty of technical quality across the pitch, the African team's coach Aliou Cisse said on Saturday. "Perhaps we won't make as many mistakes as we did before, because we all know this is a match that will determine who will continue in the World Cup".

WHEN it comes to the FIFA World Cup finals, there is a common denominator that runs among the majority of African representatives - a defeat in the opening game of their latest adventure to try and break barriers by conquering the globe for the first time. Being forced to watch his countrymen reach the quarterfinals without him was heartbreaking for the Monaco striker, who did everything this season to arrive in Russian Federation in peak physical form.

This qualification has been contentious, with Senegal benefiting from an unprecedented decision by Federation Internationale de Football Association to order a replay of their 2-1 loss in South Africa because of match-fixing by the referee.

"I'd love Harry to get it", Stones said.

The likes of Sadio Mane can be seen dancing, singing and waving their hands as they take part in what has been dubbed "the happiest" warm-up routine you'll ever see. "It was not easy to play in these conditions. All we need to do is show it again".

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".

Poland's top all-time scorer, Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich, has his own designs on controlling play after Poland was let down by its defense against Senegal.


For England fans, the pain of being knocked out by Iceland in the 2016 Euros and a winless first-round exit at the 2014 World Cup, was finally slipping away. While Poland had ball possession, they were never able to do anything because of the shape and organisation of the Senegalese. "Above all, we didn't live up to our potential".

Things may not have gone as spectacularly for Rodriguez as he would have liked since that World Cup, but he's still Colombia's best player, its creative force and one of its main goal-scoring threats.

In addition to Falcao, Colombia coach Jose Pekerman hopes he can also count on playmaker James Rodriguez to create opportunites against Poland.

Without wishing to take anything away from a hugely impressive Japan performance, they were offered a huge helping hand by a Carlos Sanchez brainfade which handed Japan a penalty and a one-man advantage for nearly the entire 90 minutes.

If a result comes from the match between Poland and Colombia later on Sunday, the loser will be eliminated and the victor will join the race for the two qualifying spots on offer.

As for hosts Russian Federation, their performances have surely been inspired by a nation rallying behind the team.

Asked if his captain could hit the heights of a Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, Southgate said he had started "brilliantly" and praised him for staying mentally strong as he waited to take penalties while the Panamanian players argued.


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