Sport

Colombia fret over star as embattled Japan loom

Colombia fret over star as embattled Japan loom

The four-time Asia Cup winners came into the World Cup with a new manager, Akira Nishino who joined the team with just 70 days before the start of this tournament and he has never managed any team outside of Japan.

Japan national football team's midfielder Shinji Kagawa (centre), defender Yuto Nagatomo (left) and midfielder Keisuke Honda attend their team training session at Mordovia Arena in Saransk, Russia.

"We have enough alternatives and players who can give options to the team".

The last of the three matches will see host nation Russian Federation look to make it back-to-back wins.

Four years ago, Japan met Colombia in their final group outing knowing they still had a chance of reaching the knockout phase, but they were crushed 4-1 by the South Americans.

World Cup: Group H in action, hosts eye 2nd win Tuesday
Colombia's talisman is a doubtful starter for their football world cup opener against Japan tonight - 19-Jun-2018 - NZ Soccer news

Having lost to hosts Brazil in the quarter-finals of the last World Cup, Pekerman refused to be drawn as to how far the Colombians aim to go in Russian Federation. His scoring tally included a goal in Colombia's 4-1 victory over Japan in group stage.

Japan's hopes of winning their opening World Cup fixture today have been written off before a ball has been kicked - by a chirpy parrot believed to possess psychic powers.

Following on from that encounter will be a fascinating match between Poland and Senegal, who each appear to have the potential to be dark horses in Russian Federation.

Poland will be hoping that their captain Robert Lewandoski, who is a prolific goal scorer in the German Bundesliga, can lift his teammates to glory. Radamel Falcao, the captain, has the most worldwide goals for the team, followed by James Rodríguez, the vice-captain.

Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia have all lost, some conceding very late goals in stoppage time to the disappointment of their millions of fans. We can't afford to look any further ahead because we would lose the essence of what we are. Russian Federation will be missing one of their key players, Alan Dzagoev, who suffered a hamstring injury in the opening match.





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