In a mere two days the 2018 World Cup action will start in Russia, with excitement palpableamong the supporters, players and stakeholders of the tournament.
In today’s news, Belgium have recorded another impressive victory but one of their star men picked up a knock in the process.
Senegal also won in their final friendly clash before the World Cup, while Iran are having issues with their boots.
Hazard warning for Belgium
Ominously for England, Group G opponents Belgium are ticking into gear just at the right time and recorded another friendly victory on Monday night, beating Costa Rica 4-1.
A Romelu Lukaku brace and strikes from Michy Batshuayi and Dries Mertens resulted in a comfortable win for Roberto Martinez’s men.
However, attacking talisman Eden Hazard was hurt in the victory and limped out of the friendly clash at around the 70-minute mark.
Despite the Chelsea man’s injury, Martinez played the incident down, stating the versatile forward had suffered a dead leg but removing him from the action was precautionary.
Senegal beat sorry South Korea
African wildcards Senegal were victorious in their final friendly clash before the World Cup starts, beating South Korea 2-0 in a behind-closed-door friendly game in Austria.
A Kim Young-Gwon own goal gave Aliou Cisse’s side the lead before a Moussa Konate strike put the result beyond doubt.
Senegal will fancy their chances of progression from a competitive Group H, with the Africans drawn against Colombia, Poland and Japan.
However, South Korea have been on a run of poor form and could face a tough time of it in Group F against Germany, Mexico and Sweden.
Nike pulls Iran boot deal
Given the stature of the World Cup, most competing nations have no issues securing sponsorship and have bigger things to worry about than who is going to supply the players’ boots.
However, Iran have been faced with a footwear issue in the lead-up to their competition opener against Tunisia, with Nike stating they will not provide the Asian nation with boots for the tournament in Russia.
The American sportwear giant has previously kitted out the Iranian team but due to frosty diplomatic relationships between the United States and the Middle Eastern nation, have released a statement clarifying they will follow US-led economic sanctions.
Here’s hoping Carlos Queiroz’s men getting another footwear provider sorted in time for the tournament.