Was it GREAT England (6) or LOWLY Panama (1)?
What can you say about this match? Was England that good or was Panama that poor? Most likely the latter. England will have to do better scoring from open play. Four of the first five goals came from classic English football set plays. England will have to do better against the better teams in the next round. VAR so far called penalties when the referee did not but didn’t call back a penalty when called by the referee. This points to a strict enforcement of the rules by either the referee or by a VAR override. Panama’s consolation first World Cup is in itself historic and lifted the deflated spirit of Panama’s supporters who did not stop cheering for the rest of the match as if they won.
Japan (2) comes from behind twice against Senegal (2) for an entertaining tie.
Japan demonstrated great character and resolve in coming back from behind Senegal twice. In fact, Japan was unlucky on a few close chances where a tiny bit more skill would have won them the match. Senegal though energetic, physical and quick scored the second goal against the run of play by the youngest African to ever score in a World Cup let alone the first match for his country at 19. In all an entertaining and quite even match with as expected, Japan with more structure and discipline and Senegal with more speed and energy. At the end, with a tie both teams walk away proud.
The free spirit of Colombia (3) beats the angst and frustration of Poland (0)
In a battle between two of the better than average teams in this World Cup, the free spirit of Colombia beat the angst and frustration of Poland as it is always true in football or any other sport. Poland started strong but was impatient and let Colombia settle down and get into a rhythm. After 15 minutes Colombia had the better of the game and a goal ahead by half time. Colombia while playing a bit choppy at times clearly wanted to win more than Poland. Their great determination finally broke down Poland with two quick goals from Falcao and Quadrado both European football stars in their own right. Just as Messi did little for Argentina so was the Polish and Bayern Munich star Lewandawski. a real disappointment.