AGONAsport World Cup Daily Recap, Day 6: Hosts Win Again; Group G Shocks
On a day that bore witness to more own goals and set-piece strikes, the hosts took a massive step to advancing to the knockout rounds. Russia continued their fine tournament in Day 6 action by rolling past Egypt 3-1. Elsewhere, there were surprises in Group G as Japan overcame Colombia 2-1 and Senegal slipped past Poland by the same score.
Japan v Colombia 2-1
Shinji Kagawa and Yuya Osako scored the goals that powered Japan past 10-man Colombia 2-1 in Day 6’s early match. The Japanese victory was the first time an Asian side defeated a South American one at a World Cup.
The drama began early in Saransk as Colombia were reduced to ten men within three minutes. Veteran Carlos Sanchez received his marching orders for an intentional handball, which denied Japan a clear goalscoring chance. Japan were awarded a penalty which was duly dispatched by Kagawa for the early lead. Set pieces have been a main theme at this World Cup and Colombia used one to grab an equalizer on 39 minutes. Carlos Quintero fired his free-kick underneath the Japanese wall to make it 1-1.
James Rodgiguez’s introduction in the second half could not inspire Colombia to go on grab the lead, instead it was Japan who scored the winner 17 minutes from the end. It was another set-piece, this time a corner as Osako rose high to head home Keisuke Honda’s delivery to make it 2-1 and give Japan a famous win.
Match Rating - 6.5: This one had people tuned in to the end. The early red card set the tone for a dramatic afternoon. Set-pieces were the key, but one wonders how different the game might have been without Sanchez’s massive mistake.
Poland v Senegal 1-2
Grzegorz Krychowiak headed home an 86th minute free-kick, but it wasn’t enough for Poland as they fell to Senegal 2-1 in Group H play. It was a minor upset for Senegal against the 8th-ranked team in the world. Senegal used a Thiago Cionek own goal in the 37th minute and an Mbaye Niang goal right on the hour to seal the win.
Niang’s goal was shrouded in controversy as he was off the pitch and called back just as an errant backpass was played into Poland’s half of the field. Wojciech Szcezesny’s wild charge out of his box saw Niang touch the ball past him and finish into an empty net. Poland were incensed that Niang was allowed back on the field at that moment/
Match Rating - 6.5: The goals were not of the greatest quality, but this match was decent enough. An upset, a late fightback that came up just short along with a little referee controversy made this game interesting enough.
Denis Cherysev scored his third goal of this World Cup as he lead hosts Russia past Egypt 3-1. The result all but confirms Russia will advance to the Round of 16, while Egypt will be eliminated.
Russia always appeared just a little more in control, but the first half was an evenly-contested opening period. Everything began to go Russia’s way after the interval as they took the lead thanks to an Ahmed Fathi own goal. The Saint Petersburg Stadium was rocking for real in the 59th minute as Cherysev scored from close range. Three minutes later the match looked done and dusted as Artem Dzyuba scored a fine individual goal.
Egypt had Mohammed Salah back in the line-up for this fixture. The Liverpool attacker did well and managed to score from the spot in the 73rd minute. However, that was as close as Egypt would get as the hosts continue to ride the momentum of a strong start to their World Cup campaign.
Match Rating - 7: A good contest overall. Russia much better than people have expected, while Egypt just could not find a Salah enough on the night.
Former Aris manager Hector Cuper saw his Egypt side fall to the host nation 3-1. PAOK’s Amr Warda was replaced in the starting line-up by Salah for this game. Warda did come on for the final 25 minutes of the encounter.
GOAL OF THE DAY
A wonderful individual goal by Dzyuba. The tall Russian striker took a long ball down from chest, touched the ball between the legs of a defender and then cooly finished from inside the box.
- Carlos Sanchez handball and early red card
- Three goals in JPN-COL all from set-pieces
- Japan pick up first Asian win over South American country at World Cup
- Own goals by Poland and Egypt swing their matches
- Controversy surround Senegal’s second goal
- Russia win second in a row
- Egypt very likely to be eliminated
LOOKING AHEAD TO TOMORROW
The second Group Stage matches come into full-swing with action from Groups A and B. Uruguay will be heavy favorites to take control of Group A with a victory over Saudi Arabia. In Group B, Spain face Iran while Portugal and Morocco also meet.