wnol.info July 16 2018

Belgium, Colombia on top as Japan squeeze through

July 16 2018, 04:31 | Van Peters

GETTYThibaut Courtois current Chelsea contract expires this time next year

Thibaut Courtois

The group stages at the 2018 FIFA World Cup have been completed with Colombia, Japan, England and Belgium the final four teams to complete the last 16.

A Japanese fan celebrates after the group H match between Japan and Poland, as his team squeezed into the final 16 despite losing the match 1-0. We were fully committed and maybe because we were fully committed, we got more yellow cards.

Both also have the same goal difference, same number of goals scored in group matches and were also equal on all head-to-head records (The match between the two teams on June 24 had ended 2-2).

Here's the goal, a thundering header by Yerry Mina in the 74th minute, that won Group H for Colombia.

"England are a young team that is in harmony, very confident, they have excellent individual players and they've managed to pass the group stage quite comfortably".

Both sides - packed with Premier League talent - have sailed through Group G, winning their two games and are now in the curious situation of weighing up whether they even want to top the section. None of the teams had a red card.

"We realise that all the teams have very good things, excellent players".

Cisse said they had been well aware of the rules and that they had to be respected.

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Winning a spot in the World Cup thanks to hosting the competition, many were not truly optimistic with Russia's chances in the contest.

Radamel Falcao and David Ospina echoed the sentiments of a nation in hoping Colombia team-mate James Rodriguez makes a swift recovery from injury.

"There was a lot of tension in the air", Colombia coach Jose Pekerman said.

"They were really loyal in listening to me and following my words and that was me and the other coaching staff who made that decision", he said.

Egypt failed to pick up a point in three games Group A, while Tunisia, who face Panama on Thursday, have lost their first two games and can not advance from Group G.

By finishing second in the group, England have though avoided a loaded top half of the draw containing past winners Brazil, France, Argentina and Uruguay as well as European champions Portugal.

A drab affair between England and Belgium was settled by a moment of class from Adnan Januzaj, with Jordan Pickford's miniature arms failing to keep the ball out.

The goal came six minutes into the second half when 23-year-old Januzaj shimmied on the edge of the box and sent a flawless shot into the far corner of the net past England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

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