S2 SCORE with theSun JUNE 25, 2018

7.30pm Daily  14 June - 15 July 2018 . i e - 15 July 2018

Out in the Col


Falcao, Cuadrado and Mina star as stylish Colombia break Polish hearts R ADAMEL FALCAO, Yerry Mina and Juan Cuadrado scored their maiden World Cup g o a l s a s s t y l i s h Colombia boosted their last 16 hopes with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Poland earlier today. In a match destined to see the loser sent home after the group stages, Colombia overcame a nervous start against Adam Nawalka’s men to move up to third place inGroupH, one point behind Japan and Senegal. The disappointing Poland became the first European side eliminated fromthe tournament. Colombia’s march to the quarterfinals in Brazil four years ago came thanks to James Rodriguez’s six-goal tally for

the equaliserwhenhe rushedout toblock fromLewandowski after the Bayern Munich striker did welltogetashotawayfromalong ball frommidfield. Poland threatened again, but when Lewandowski got his head to a cross into the area he was marked by both Mina and Davinson Sanchez. Colombia, however, were not to be denied. When right-back Sanitago Arias found Quintero, the midfielderslicedPoland’sdefence apart with a low pass that found Falcao on the run before he beat Szczesny down low with the outside of his right boot. Five minutes later, Rodriguez produced arguably the assist of the night, drawing several Polish players on the left flank before somehow finding Cuadrado on the run with a superb cross-field pass that thepaceywinger tucked away. –AFP

‘LosCafeteros’ .

Polish defence to win the corner that led toColombia’s opener. Rodriguez’s short corner eventuallyfoundQuintero,whose smart through ball back to Rodriguez gave him time and space to curl a perfect left-footed cross that Mina rose to header powerfully past Szczesny on 40 minutes. Colombia resumed inpositive fashion, Cuadrado holding up well to set up Falcao for a first- time drive that sailed over Szczesny’s crossbar. A Colombia counter saw Falcao’s drive from the edge of the area deflected out for a corner. Nawalka replaced Dawid Kownacki with the more experienced Kamil Grosicki and t he swi t ch a lmo s t pa i d dividends. Onlythebraveryofgoalkeeper David Ospina saved Colombia fromconcedingwhat looked like


And days after a troublesome calf injury restrictedhimtoahalf- hour cameo role as 10-man Colombia stumbled toa 2-1 defeat against Japan, theBayernMunich midfielderwas back to his best. Starting alongside Juan Quintero and Cuadrado on the right, Colombia’s ultra-offensive s t a r t i n g l i n e - u p wa s a forewarning. After riding a tense start that forced Mina and then Wilmar Barrios to react quickly to thwart early threats from Robert Lewandows k i , Co l omb i a eventually got into their stride. Cuadrado was wasteful on several occasions when finding space deep on the right flank. TheJuventuswinger’strickery would eventually pay dividends, but it was Falcao – who has dreamed all his life of scoring a World Cup goal – who turned on the style, dancing through the

0 3


Mina40’ Falcao70’ Cuadrado75’ Colombia


2 2


Mane12’ Wague71’ Senegal

Inui34’ Honda78’


6 1



Stones8’,40’ Kane (P)22’, (P)45’,62’ Lingard36’


we learned fromthe Germanyvs Swedenmatch

Credit to Low Rocked from seeing his side play so poorly in their first game loss toMexico, Germany coach Joachim Low decided to ring the changes, to freshen up his midfield and reassert his authority over this team of superstars. Out went Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira andMarvin Plattenhardt. In cameMarco Reus, Jonas Hector and Sebastian Rudy. His gamble paid off, though talk about leaving it late. Neuer’s fitness doubt There were doubts about Manuel Neuer’s fitness in the build-up to this World Cup and while that has undoubtedly played a part in his perform- ance, should there be doubts about his level now? A single first-half one-on-one save apart, he looked very suspect, not least for the goal – where he was less than commanding – and one awkward late stop where he got his feet wrong. Again, just another drop-off from 2014. Boateng in shambles RobertoMancini saw it, Pep Guardiola fixed it, but in Jerome Boateng there has always been the potential for him to fall apart. Whenever BayernMunich have crumbled in the Champions League, Boateng has been part of the problem. For the first time, Germany saw the full effect of that breakdown. Boateng was at sixes and sevens in his “partnership” with Antonio Rudiger, if you can call it that, and was lucky not to concede an early penalty. He made far too many rash challenges, earned himself an early yellow card, and when he flew into the back of Marcus Berg he left referee SzymonMarciniak with no other option than to send him off. Toivonen’s dreammoment Ola Toivonen’s Toivonen’s cushioned chest control, his subsequent strength to hold off challenging defenders and then his dinked finish over, many would argue, the world’s best goalkeeper was a moment to treasure forever. The world was stunned. Germany were heading home at the group stage. Anonymous Kroos surfaces By all accounts, Toni Kroos had endured a shocker. The Real Madridmidfielder had been anonymous throughout the match – crucially leaving their defence horribly exposed. Even when he lined up a late freekick, four minutes into time added on, there were fewwho will have truly believed that he was about to change the face of the 2018World Cup. But quality players have an uncanny talent for coming up when they’re most needed. With the wild celebrations set to go on long into the night, that goal will breathe new life into the German campaign. – THE INDEPENDENT

Colombia’s Falcao (2nd right) scores against Poland’s goalkeeperWojciech Szczesny during their Russia 2018World CupGroupHmatch at the Kazan Arena in Kazan earlier today. – AFPPIX

Honda salvages apoint for Japan

MIDFIELDER Keisuke Honda came off the bench to salvage a 2-2 draw for Japan against Senegal, asboth teamswere lockedat the topof Group H following an entertaining encounter yesterday. Veteran Honda, 32, who became the first Japanese player to score in three different World Cups, replaced Shinji Kagawa in the secondhalfwithhis teamdown2-1 and fired the equaliser in 12 minutes from time after a bad error by Senegal goalkeeper KhadimN’Diaye. Senegal thought they had claimed all three pointsasMoussaWaguedrilledtheballintothe top of the net in the 71st minute to make it 2-1, after SadioMane’s fortuitous first-half opener wascancelledoutbyTakashiInui’scurlingshot. But Honda ensured things ended level and deservedly so. The result leaves both teams, who beat Colombia and Poland respectively in their opening matches, on four points from two games andwithin reach of a spot in the last 16. “They were avoidable goals, that’s clear,” Senegal coach Aliou Cisse said in a blunt assessment of his defence. “The best teamwas Japan, we have to admit that.”

“We didn’t play a great game but we didn’t lose… I believe… I have confidence. Our team has the quality to face Colombia,” he added, lookingforwardtoThursday’smeetingwiththe SouthAmericans inSamara. JapanplayPoland inVolgograd. Senegal’s back line might have faltered towards the end but they began strongly and their robust defending neutralised any early threat that the Japanese front line posed, allowing their own attackers to push up in numbers. TheAfricanswent ahead in the 11thminute, although there was an element of luck to their opener. A poor headed clearance landed right at YoussoufSabaly’sfeetandalthoughgoalkeeper EijiKawashimamanagedtoparrythedefender’s stinging shot from the left, the ball rebounded into the net offMane’s knee. Japan regained composure and responded with a well-taken goal with their only shot on target in theopeningperiod to level the scoreat 1-1. YutoNagatomo controlled a longpasswith a deft first touch before rolling the ball into the

pathof Inui, who cut in fromthe left and fired a curling shot past a divingN’Diaye. Senegal appeared tostepoff thegas towards the end of the half, and the effects were still evident after the restart, as they resorted to long-rangeeffortsthatfailedtotesttheJapanese goalkeeper. They nearly paid for allowing their opponents to run at them, as Yuya Osako narrowly failed to connect with a pass across theboxonthehourmarkbeforeInui’spowerful shot struck the barwith the goalkeeper beaten. Wague appeared to have ended hopes of a Japanese comeback as he drilled Sabaly’s low cross into the top of the net to send Senegal’s supporters into raptures. But the Asians were not done and hit back again throughmidfielderHonda,whocollected Inui’s pass andprodded intoanemptynet after goalkeeper N’Diaye stepped off his line and failed to punch the ball away. “It was a tough match and we knew it was going to be tough,” Japan coach Akira Nishino said. “I evaluate it as a verygoodpoint. Senegal is a tough teamand this result Ihopewill lead to success in the nextmatch.” –Reuters

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