World Cup Preview: Senegal v Colombia
In a win or go home tie, Senegal take on Colombia to remain in the World Cup. Currently, Senegal sit in second with 4 points, whilst Columbia are in third with three points. Group H is still wide open and dark horses, Japan, currently, lead the group headed into Matchday 3.
Senegal v Columbia
There is no doubt this game will be of attacking nature and free-flowing football. The winner will be determined by whose world-class players decide to show up. After missing majority of the first game, James Rodriguez was back at his best against Poland, with two assists.
Senegal are coming off a four-goal draw with Japan, after Keisuke Honda equalised late on. Despite the odds, both Senegal and Colombia can both go through to the last-16, however, only if Poland beat Japan and this fixture ends as a stalemate. Pundits predict that Japan will secure at least a point against sub-par Poland and will guarantee themselves a spot in the knock out rounds.
Senegal were unlucky not to earn all three points against Japan after Sadio Mane opened the scoring and put Senegal ahead early on. Mane, has only scored one goal in his first two games. A key to success for Senegal will be to tie down James Rodriguez and this will be attempted by the midfield pivot of Idrissa Gueye and Alfred N’Diaye.
Unfortunately, Senegal have not been able to fully utilise their pace up front and punish teams on the counter, as expected. Instead, they have tried to capitalise on defensive errors and be clinical in front of goal.
Only a win for Colombia will confirm qualification to the next round. Radamel Falcao scored his maiden world cup goal in Colombia’s 3-0 victory of Poland. He will look to carry that momentum forward and bag a few more goals in Samara. In defence, Yerry Mina and Davinson Sanchez have both looked very solid throughout this tournament. It is unlikely that this duo will change. Sanchez has just finished his first season in the Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur and has got some experience in dealing with fast and physical forwards.
Colombia’s 2014 superstar, James Rodriguez, earned himself a man of the match award after two defence-splitting passes resulted in goals and earning them all 3 points in the convincing win over Poland.
There is no doubt that this will be a hard-fought battle between both sides. However, Colombia will prevail and continue into the round of sixteen. Senegal 1 Colombia 4. Colombia win.
Main image credit: