Yes this World Cup has been going on for a week! So far nobody is definitely out and nobody is definitely through but one team are within touching distance…
Russia Roar, Poland & Colombia shoot them selves in the foot
Hosts Russia continued to impress with an emphatic win over Egypt. The Mo Salah team with a half fit Mo Salah may not represent the toughest opposition but after a sluggish first half the Russians overwhelmed Egypt in the second, with a comical own goal setting Russia on their way before Denis Cheryshev & Artem Dzyuba scored excellent individual goals to put Russia 3 up before Salah won and converted a late penalty. If Saudi Arabia fail to beat Uruguay Russia will qualify with a game to spare.
Earlier in the day Group H got underway with 2 shocks in what already looks to be a wide open group. Colombia started the day as group favourites but after just 3 minutes their defence was cut open and Carlos Sanchez handballed leading to a red card and penalty neatly coverted by Shinji Kagawa. But Japan struggled to press home their advantage and Colombia got a deserved equalizer through Juan Quintero’s clever free kick driven under the Japanese wall to level on stroke of halftime. But Japan began the second half with renewed belief and pushed Colombia’s 10 men back and on 73 minutes Yuya Osaka nodded home Keisuke Honda’s corner for a 2-1 win.
In the afternoon game Poland & Senegal played out a cagey first half but Poland then scored a bizarre own goal through Thiago Cionek before the break. Having shot themselves in the foot Poland then blew their full leg off by with a short back pass from Grzegorz Krychowiak in Senegal’s half putting Wojciech Szczesny and Jan Bednarek in all sorts of trouble and M’Baye Niang capitalizing on the mix up to poke home for 2-0. Poland rallied but lacked the creativity to find Robert Lewandowski who was largely a spectator but Krychowiak made amends for his earlier error by nodding home a free kick to give Poland hope but Senegal held on for 2-1.
Day 7 Previews
Portugal vs Morocco
Morocco showed some neat skills and nice play in their opener but were caught by an Iranian sucker punch and now need results against Portugal and Spain to stay alive- this won’t happen. Ronaldo was sensational against Spain and against Morocco it’s hard not to see his teammates having more ambition against lesser opposition and although Morocco will prove stubborn opposition I can only see 1 result
Prediction: Portugal 3-1 Morocco
Spain vs Iran
In the evening kick off Spain take on Iran. Iran were yet again brilliantly organised against Morocco but Spain are a class above and if they score early the floodgates will open. The best hope for Iran might be to niggle Diego Costa and hope for a red card but in all likelihood Spain will win with a bit to spare
Prediction: Spain 2-0 Iran
Saudi Arabia vs Uruguay
Saudi were relelntlessly awful against Russia and will surely show more application today? Uruguay have problems of thier own with Luis Suarez misfiring and the team lacking attacking fluency. Uruguay will win but not 5-0 and will go through sending Russia to the last 16 with them and Saudi back to the Gulf.
Prediction: Saudi Arabia 1-3 Uruguay