Japan players expect tough battle against Senegal following opening win

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Aliou Cissé an icon on the field and onlineMore

The other game of the group between Poland and Colombia will hold in Kazan Arena later on Sunday. That means the victor would be in good shape to advance past the group stage, and a draw could end up benefiting either or both.

Prior to the victory Tuesday over a 10-man La Tricolor side in Saransk, Japan were widely tipped to finish last in Group H, but bookmakers now have the resurgent four-time Asian champions as second favorites to top the group behind the Senegal, who beat Poland 2-1 in their opening clash.

"It will be like a final".

Despite being a man up for the majority of their opener, Japan showed their opponents too much respect and didn't close them out of possession.

The Confederation of African Football cancelled the 2019 AFCON qualifiers, which had been set for March this year, to help the five African representatives fine-tune their preparations for a crack at this World Cup and make a huge impression at the showcase. 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.

Japan, Senegal record their first win, Russian Federation surprises Egypt
Japan beat 10-man Colombia 2-1 in group H yesterday to become the first Asian side to beat a South American one at the World Cup. Senegal emerged victorious by beating Poland 2-1 in the Group H encounter.

"All that makes things more hard, it jeopardises us to think about certain things too much".

And the 26-year-old admits he's aiming to replicate his efforts with Liverpool with his country this summer.

Falcao subsequently found himself isolated up front, and had limited opportunities. I'm not sold on Poland outside of Lewandowski as a striker and I'd expect the more complete side to get the 3 points they need to stay alive in this group. "It was not easy to play in these conditions".

"We need to earn maximum points". James Rodriguez started and made the impact we all knew he could, dishing two assists.

Over-reliant on Lionel Messi, who missed a penalty in the draw with Iceland and failed to register a single shot on target in the 3-0 defeat to Croatia, Sampaoli has been unable to get the best out of top performers like Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuaín, Angel Di Maria and Paulo Dybala. A tricky Group D featuring darlings Iceland, unsafe Nigeria and disrespected Croatia stood between Argentina and its goal of returning to the title match in what could be Lionel Messi's last World Cup. Poland was let down by its defense in the opener against Senegal.

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Thomas Meunier put him in behind the defence and Lukaku tucked his shot away, celebrating with De Bruyne, who started the move. Unless Panama beat England in Sunday's Group G match, Belgium will be through with a game to spare while Tunisia will be out.

The team will now go on to play without Sanchez, with either Wilmar Barrios or Mateus Uribe likely to take his place. "Above all, we didn't live up to our potential".

"We didn't play a great game but we didn't lose..."

Takashi Inui, in particular, enjoyed a good second half for Japan against Colombia.

Cisse, reportedly also the lowest-paid coach, happens to be a soccer hero in Senegal, which is making its second World Cup appearance.

Kane took advantage of an overly-physical Panama team to score twice from the spot in the first half.

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Shinji Kagawa is another player who can hurt Senegal.

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