Pekerman ‘optimistic’ as Colombia seek ‘decisive’ Senegal win

Match Report - Senegal 0 - 1 Colombia | 28 Jun 2018

2018 World Cup Group H match report Senegal v Colombia 28 June 2018

Getty ImagesGroup H is set to bring a wild end to the group stage of the 2018 World Cup - here's every scenario for how things could shake out between Japan, Colombia, and Senegal as they battle for the final two spots in the knockout round.

Coach Aliou Cisse was critical of his pacy and powerful side after their 2-2 draw with Japan on Sunday, saying their opponents were the better team, and called on forward Mane to step it up.

On Thursday, as the group phase draws to a close, Senegal only need a draw to advance but victory for Colombia will put them into the next round instead, leaving Senegal eliminated if Japan avoid defeat against Poland in Volgograd at the same time.

The South Americans are now third and need a win in Samara to guarantee a place in the last 16, while the African side are second and will progress with at least a draw.

Two slots in the round of 16 are up for grabs this afternoon and Senegal, Colombia and Japan will be vying for them.

Senegal will be concerned by the potential of letting slip a favourable position, after kicking off the tournament with a 2-0 win over Poland and then being in command against Japan, only to prove unable to secure all the points.

Colombia's football association has said the players who faced Poland focused on "regenerative" work on Monday.

James Rodriguez departed Colombia's World Cup game against Senegal through injury.

The teams are looking healthy entering this match, though Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina received some knocks in the last match.

"It led to the goals and now we have a good position in this World Cup".

However, after protests from the Senegal team and a word in his ear from the VAR officials, the referee walked off the pitch, consulted VAR and swiftly reversed his decision to the correct one.

Colombia have been quite clinical in front of goal in Russian Federation so far, having scored four goals out of their seven shots on target, including the three strikes that found the back of the net against Poland.

Senegal were far from convincing against Japan and even though Mane scored the opener it had a large dose of good luck about it. They are all around the same level and so closely matched. They returned to form in style on Sunday evening and with Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez hitting their straps that should prove to be the difference.

Should Colombia be victorious, Japan will need to lose by fewer goals than Senegal to progress.

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