World Cup Day 12: England man as good as CR7 and Messi, Spain caution, Colombia rampant



Monday’s action at the World Cup 2018 will determine the final standings of some of the groups, with the final round of fixtures in Group A and B to take place.

Russia, Uruguay, Spain and Portugal are all expected to make it to the next stages, but their games today will dictate who faces whom next.

On Sunday, big wins for England and Colombia were recorded, with every chance the pair could yet face each other in the round of 16.

England rout Panama, Kane praised

England made it two wins from two on Sunday, hammering Panama 6-1 in a one-sided affair to book qualification from the group stages.

The Three Lions had too much quality for a toothless opponent, with Harry Kane the pick of the players and netting a hat-trick.

Gareth Southgate praised Kane and said the England forward should be regarded in the same bracket as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

“He’s started brilliantly. The penalty … you can dismiss penalties as easy, but the length of time he had to wait and the number of distractions which made him refocus and start again; that tells you about the mental toughness he has got,” the manager said.

“He’s there in the scoring charts. He’s up at the top. We wouldn’t swap him for anyone in the tournament in terms of No 9s because you know that, when he gets opportunities, he’ll bury them.

“Just as important is the way he presses, holds the ball up, contributes to the overall game, and sacrifices himself for the team.”

With England and Belgium both already through from Group G, both sides may be tempted to rotate their teams when they face off on Thursday.

Read More: England Squad, Profile, Prediction

Colombia click into gear

Colombia were arguably the favourites to top Group H but opened their World Cup with defeat to Japan – however, the South Americans got back on track on Sunday.

A dominant 3-0 win over Poland showed just how good Jose Pekerman’s side can be, especially with the attacking threats of James Rodriguez, Juan Quintero, Radamel Falcao and Juan Cuadrado all on the pitch.

Poland have been poor and are now eliminated, with a 2-2 draw between Japan and Colombia meaning three sides enter the final round of group games hoping to be in the hat for the next stages.

Read More: Colombia Squad, Profile, Prediction

Spain cautious against Tunisia

Group B should see Spain and Portugal progressing after their respective fixtures on Monday, but there is still an outside chance of Iran upsetting the party.

Spain go into their game against Morocco in cautious fashion, having been dumped out of the 2014 competition at the group stages.

The African outfit have lost both games so far despite arguably being the better team on each occasion and as such will fancy a last hurrah against the 2010 champions.

Spain coach Fernando Hierro has stated that despite the European side being favourites, they will not take anything for granted.

“Our obligation is to get the three points and if we are top of the group so much the better, perfect,” he said.

“We have to play well, win and forget what is happening in the other game. We have enough to worry about without worrying about other things.

“Mathematically we are not through, so we have to treat this match with the importance that it has on its own. This is our third game and right now there is nothing beyond that for us. Hopefully we can have a fourth, and a fifth, a sixth, a seventh.”

In Group B’s other game, Portugal take on Iran knowing a draw will send them through.

Read More: Spain Squad, Profile, Prediction

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