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Colombia Regains Hope, Japan Shows Class

Radamel Falcao netted the 2nd goal for his team  against Poland.Radamel Falcao netted the 2nd goal for his team  against Poland.

In the Group H of the FIFA World Cup, Colombia regained hope of advancing to the Round of 16 after beating Poland 3-0. The defeat sent the Poles home with no points out of two games while Japan and Senegal finished 2-2. In Group G, England thrashed Panama 6-1.

Colombia’s World Cup campaign roared back into life with a thumping 3-0 victory over Poland on Sunday which delivered a warning to the rivals and sent the disappointing Poles tumbling out of the tournament, Reuters reported.

Defender Yerry Mina scored the opener on the 40th minute with captain Radamel Falcao and winger Juan Cuadrado putting the gloss on the Group H win with two goals in five minutes in the last quarter as the desperate Poles chased the game in Kazan Arena.

Midfielder James Rodriguez, winner of the Golden Boot at the last World Cup, returned to the starting lineup after injury and played a part in two of the goals as Colombia got back on track after their opening loss to Japan.

The victory puts the South Americans in third place in Group H on three points behind Japan and Senegal, which share the top with four points apiece.

A Colombia victory over the Africans in their final first-round match in Samara on Thursday would secure a spot in the last 16.

  Honda Saves Japan

Midfielder Keisuke Honda came off the bench to salvage a 2-2 draw for Japan against Senegal, in an entertaining encounter on Sunday at the Central Stadium of Yekaterinburg, as both teams were locked at the top of Group H.

Honda, 32, who became the first Japanese player to score in three different World Cups, replaced Shinji Kagawa in the second half with his team down 2-1 and fired the equalizer in 12 minutes from time after an error by Senegal goalkeeper Khadim N’Diaye.

Senegal players thought they had claimed all three points as Moussa Wague drilled the ball into the top of the net on the 71st minute to make it 2-1, after Sadio Mane’s fortuitous first-half opener was canceled out by Takashi Inui’s curling shot. But Honda ensured things ended level.

  England’s Arsenal

Harry Kane struck a hat-trick as England’s young and free-flowing team banished the ghost of past failures with a record 6-1 thrashing of feeble Panama on Sunday that eased them into the last 16.

England’s biggest-ever World Cup win, featuring two penalties by Kane then a fortuitous deflection off his heel, also guaranteed Belgium’s berth in the next round. “It’s amazing, I’m extremely proud ... We had fun out there,” said current tournament top scorer Kane, calling his third “one of the luckiest goals of my life.”

Ahead of their meeting on Thursday to decide which team tops Group G, England and Belgium are level on points, goal difference and goals scored. Sunday’s game at the pulsating, riverside Nizhny Novgorod stadium eliminated the Central Americans from the World Cup with nine goals conceded in their debut appearance in a World Cup.

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