As the last games of matchday two are played, Groups G and H are looking two groups trending in different directions. Group G features two nations who are at the apex of the sport, and two countries who looked happy to just be a part of the World Cup finals. Group H has four teams who have shown great quality. In their group the two that advance will have to play above and beyond in a crucial second game! Our World Cup Review looks back at match two of groups G and H.
In Group G two things have been apparent; one has been England’s and Belgium’s dominance, the other has been Panama’s and Tunisia’s lack of quality to get out of the group. Matchday two for these nations dictated who will make it out, and who will be going home.
Belgium: 5 Tunisia: 2
In a game that had the potential to be completely one-sided lived up to that hype. This was Belgium’s game from the opening whistle. A penalty won in the sixth minute, and put home by Eden Hazard gave Belgium the lead, and the confidence to go in for the kill. Romelu Lukaku scored his first goal of the game with a clinical finish to double the lead. Tunisia tried to get back into the match getting a goal right after Lukaku’s, but it was not enough to quiet Belgium. Lukaku got his double on a cheeky chip just before halftime, and Belgium were rolling.
As the second half started, Belgium picked up where they left off. Eden Hazard got his second goal, and the Belgian side were sitting pretty. Both nations traded stoppage time goals; Belgium’s Michy Batshuayi scored his first of the competition, while Wahbi Khazri scored a consolation goal for Tunisia! Tunisia’s Russia 2018 has ended with a game to play, while Belgium moves onto the knockout round with a huge game against England still to play!
England: 6 Panama: 1
Group G’s matchday two was full of huge win’s for European sides. England dominated their second match vs Panama. It was clear early that England would have their way with Panama. A john Stones header in the eighth minute gave England the lead, and they didn’t look back. Harry Kane put home a penalty in the 22nd minute, Stones got a second goal in the 40th minute, Jesse Lingard scored a stunner from far out and Kane added a second penalty goal in first half stoppage time.
Taking a five goal lead into the second half, England looked to out-possess Panama in the second half. This paid off in wasting time, waiting for the game to end. While doing this England was able to actually create a few attacks, resulting in Kane getting a hat-trick when a ball ricocheted off of his heel and chipped the Panamanian keeper.
In the 78th minute some history happened. Panama had possession and played a ball into the box. Felipe Baloy Slid to meet the ball. His slide to meet the ball resulted in Panama’s first ever goal in a World Cup final. A nice consolation prize for a nation knocked out of the World Cup with a game to play. England’s dominating performance helps them head into the knockout rounds!
In this European World Cup, the European sides of Group G have looked unbeatable. Belgium took care of business against Tunisia, sending the African side packing with one game still to play. England looked inspired putting six goals past Panama. While Panama will be heading home with a game to play, they do so heads held high after scoring their first ever World Cup Finals goal. Belgium and England will go through to the knockout rounds; the two nations play each other on the final matchday of the group stage to see who will win the group!
We know our two qualifiers from Group G, but who will finish top?
4) #PAN #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/f92GiD8Pkv
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 24, 2018
In Group H, every game has been meaningful and competitive. All four teams are capable for making a run to the knockout rounds, but Senegal and Japan are poised to make it there after their wins in matchday one. those two go head-to-head in matchday two. Even after a loss, Poland or Colombia could make a comeback should one of them win their tie!
Japan: 2 Senegal: 2
Group leaders Japan and Senegal met in a group H clash. Should there be a winner from this match, then said winner would have a great advantage in the final matchday. Alas there would be no winner in this match, but it was a thrilling contest!
In a game full of life, Senegal struck first. Liverpool’s Sadio Mane found the back of the net to give the African side the lead in the 11th minute! As the game opened. Japan began to get some chances. In the 34th minute Japan found their equalizer through Takashi Inui. The fun contest went to half tied at 1.
The second half was a duplicate of the first. Both sides showed really passion to get a goal, and again it was Senegal to break the deadlock. Moussa Wague scored in the 71st minute to put Senegal back on top. After that goal, the high-flying possession game Senegal had played to that point disappeared. Japan was allowed more of the ball, and again was able to find an equalizer! Keisuke Honda scored the equalizing goal in the 78th minute!
At the death both sides pushed to find a winner, but none could. A 2-2 draw was fitting for both sides. As they move into the final day of group H both Senegal and Japan will need to get a win to secure their respective places in the knockout rounds.
Poland: 0 Colombia: 3
In a match that featured both losing sides from matchday 1 of group H, Colombia and Poland knew they needed a win to stay alive in the tournament. as the match opened up both sides looked to dictate the possession. After some attacking sequences for both sides, Colombia found a good bit of attacking possession. In the 40th minute James Rodriguez found the head of Yerry Mina. His header gave Colombia the one goal lead into halftime.
AS the second half kicked off, both sides provided some good attacking chances. Poland were so close to finding an equalizer but were fended off by Colombia. As the game grew on, Poland pushed numbers forward to find an equalizer. This left plenty of space for a Colombian counter attack.
Good build up through that counter found the foot of Radamel Falcao, who put the chance home in the 70th minute! After that goal for Colombia, Poland pushed even more numbers forward. Colombia took advantage once again. A quick counter was sprung by James Rodriguez finding Juan Caudrado. Cuadrado made a storming run in on goal, and slotted home the chance. This solidified Colombia’s win. It also meant that Poland crashed out of the World Cup with a game to play. Colombia stay alive by winning 3-0.
After a thrilling 2-2 tie between Senegal and Japan, and Colombia’s 3-0 of Poland, group H is shaping out to be drama filled in matchday three. The only nation knocked out of the World Cup from this group with a game to play is Poland. They looked uninspired in their first two games. The game with everything riding on it in matchday three is Colombia vs Senegal. A win for one could knockout the other!
So, Group H…
Poland are now eliminated from the #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/0cJRRlI3fb
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 24, 2018
More action to come!
As the tournament roles on, we will continue our reviews! Come back Tomorrow for a review of Match 3 for Groups A and B! Catch all the games on Fox or Telemundo! Replays of matches are also available on the FoxSportsGO App!
Check out these matches or replays of today’s matches:
Egypt vs Saudi Arabia (Group A) – REPLAY – FoxSportsGO App
Uruguay vs Russia (Group A) – REPLAY – FoxSportsGO App
Portugal vs Iran(Group B) – REPLAY – FoxSportsGO App
Spain vs Morocco (Group B) – REPLAY – FoxSportsGO App
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Mandatory Credit: REUTERS