World Cup ICYMI: GW2 – England vs. Panama, Japan vs. Senegal, Poland vs. Colombia

Group G may have been pretty much decided — barring the final fixture’s leader-making abilities — but it’s still very much all on the line in Group H.

In short

  • England’s 6-1 demolition against a pretty fragile Panama was enough to write their name in the record books, achieving the country’s biggest win in the World Cup.
  • With his hat-trick today, Harry Kane becomes the World Cup’s top goalscorer, surpassing Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku.
  • John Stones has now got more World Cup goals than Wayne Rooney, with four of England’s eight goals this tournament coming from set-pieces.
  • Panama’s only goal — and their first-ever World Cup goal — scored by Felipe Baloy, makes him the third oldest goalscorer in the history of the World Cup.
  • Japan had to come from behind twice to earn a 2-2 draw against Senegal. Takashi Inui and Keisuke Honda netted for Japan, while Sadio Mané scored his first World Cup goal with Moussa Wague adding a second for the Africans.
  • Japan created enough chances to win the game, with Inui nearly scoring a wonder goal from the outside of the box, only to be denied by the crossbar.
  • Colombia did justice to their favouritism with a convincing 3-0 against a tense Poland side. Los Cafeteros recovered from their defeat in GW1 against Japan and now need a win against Senegal to qualify.
  • James Rodriguez provided the assist for Yerry Mina to open the scoring, the Barcelona defender heading his cross over an onrushing Wojciech Szczesny.
  • Colombia’s second goal was really special. Juan Quintero found a gap in the middle of Poland’s defence to set Falcao free on goal, with the striker finishing calmly and scoring his first goal in the World Cup.
  • In the dying embers of the game, Colombia capped off their outstanding performance with Rodriguez’s brilliant pass finding Juan Cuadrado, who coolly notched Colombia’s third.

Takeaways

  • England’s team finally feels connected to its fans, something that hasn’t happened for a long time. Even if England don’t win this World Cup, the future looks really promising for the Three Lions.
  • Harry Kane is showing once again he can perform at the big stage. He becomes only the third English player to score a hat-trick in the history of the World Cup, after Geoff Hurst and Gary Lineker.
  • England’s performance was great in every perspective. They controlled the game with authority, played beautifully and are showing they can compete in this World Cup.
  • Despite their good performance, Senegal will be really disappointed to drop two points from this game. If they had more concentration, their place in the round of 16 would be almost assured. They have a difficult game against Colombia, but with the talent they have on their side, especially in the attacking end, they can be a difficult opponent to any team.
  • Japan will be also pleased with their mentality to come from behind twice to earn a hard fought draw. Their last group game is against the knocked out Poland. If they play the way they did against Colombia and show the mentality they had against Senegal, they will guarantee a surprising place in the round of 16.
  • This game only highlighted that Group H is the most competitive in this World Cup. Coming into GW3, three teams have a chance to win the group, with Poland being the only team with no chance of qualifying.
  • Colombia finally showed the free-flowing attacking football expected from them. From the start, they showed intent to go forward and to play beautifully.
  • When James plays well, this Colombia team flourishes. The excellent performance from the Bayern midfielder was highlighted with weaving feints, quick footwork and two assists.
  • Juan Cuadrado was another excellent performer. He scored the third goal and made a big tactical contribution with his marking down Colombia’s right flank. His pace and skill are valuable assets to have and makes him a game-changing player.
  • For Poland, on the other hand, this was a really disappointing tournament. The expectations were high for the Eagles to qualify for the round of 16, but today’s performance showcased a miserable and average side.
  • One of the best 9s in the world, Robert Lewandowski has also had a tournament to forget. He hasn’t even looked half the player we know he is. Clueless with the ball at his feet and not being able to capitalize on any chances he is given.

Goal of the day

The goal of the day has to be England’s third, scored by Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard. The midfielder picked the ball near the Panama area and curled a brilliant shot from the outside of the box, which ended in the top corner. After the great season he had, this goal will surely be pretty special to Lingard and shows how talented he is.

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