England and Belgium play their last Group G match in the FIFA World Cup 2018 to move into the knockout stage and the pool leaders. Having assured themselves of the next round berth, the group toppers – with six points from two wins apiece – will battle it out for the psychological superiority.
In the other Group G match, winless Colombia will play for pride after having lost on the hope of progressing past the Group Stage in the World Cup 2018 Finals.
The games of academic interest, experiments for positional superiority and pride will be streamed live on the SonyLIV app and the SonyLIV website SONYLIV.COM from 11:30 pm India time.
The World Cup action today (Thursday) will start with the Group H games between Senegal and Colombia and Japan and Poland from 7:3o PM as the last round Group stage matches in each group are scheduled concurrently. At least three teams are in with a chance to book one of the two knockout stage berths from Group H. The fourth, Poland are booked back home irrespective of the outcome of their “last” FIFA World Cup 2018 game against Japan. For the other three, a defeat may potentially threaten their party.
The two Group G games later in the day will feature England and Belgium and Panama and Tunisia from 11:30 pm India time.
The SonyLIV subscribers can catch all the action live from the links below. The other football fans have the option of viewing the games with a five-minute delay.
GROUP MATCHES: Thursday, June 28:
In the tantalisingly poised group, third-placed Colombia at three points from two games too stands a chance to enter the knockout stage with a win over Senegal, who have four points from two matches.
Senegal may have an easier path to the knockout stage as they need just a draw to advance. However, Colombia after having lost their opening game to the Group leaders Japan have recovered well with a win over bottom-placed Poland and will be looking to maintain the momentum.
Senegal, though better positioned than Colombia, have not been impressive in the middle in their games against Japan and Poland – also conceding a self-goal before prevailing over Poland.
Only the Group leaders Japan face the threat of a major loss if they fail to hold on to Poland, whose consolation win can spoil Japan’s party plans. Japan have not been an impressive unit in their two matches in Russia so far – as they beat Poland and held Senegal.
However, a little caution may help them prevail over the winless Poland, who have managed just one goal and conceded five in their two Group H games.
Japan starts favourites against Poland but the latter, who are left with nothing to lose, may pull a few surprises when the pressure to perform and survive is off their shoulders.
Both Tunisia and Panama are looking to get their first win of the World Cup following two defeats in their earlier group games. The game will only be of academic interest as the match at the Volgograd Arena will just be battle to salvage pride. The fate of the two teams is sealed – they return home from Samara.
The two teams lined up for the 11:30 pm start at the Kaliningrad Stadium, England and Belgium have had a surprisingly identical outcome from their previous two games. Both have scored wins over Tunisia and Panama, have scored eight and conceded two goals apiece and placed assured of the knockout round berth with six points each.
The game today (Thursday) may potentially separate the two, as both will like to take the momentum into the next round. This will also be the first occasion that these two Group G teams will face their real test and that factor is good enough to add some spice to this game of academic interest.