World Cup 2018: Day 11 as it happened: England hit six as Colombia win

England hammer Panama to book their place in the last 16, Japan come from behind twice to draw with Senegal and Colombia win 3-0 to eliminate Poland

epa06837583 Radamel Falcao (L) of Colombia celebrates after scoring the 0-2 goal during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group H preliminary round soccer match between Poland and Colombia in Kazan, Russia, 24 June 2018.

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12.30am Monday fun ahead

It feels like only five minutes ago that the World Cup began but we are now coming up to the end of the group stages.

Group A is first up at 6pm UAE time. We know both Uruguay and Russia are through already, but we don't know who will win the group. A win or draw gives Russia the honour. If Uruguay triumph they get top spot.

Meanwhile, it is a matter of pride as Egypt and Saudi Arabia look to sign off from Russia with a consolation win.

At 10pm it is Group B that takes centre stage. Both Spain and Portugal still have work to do to secure a place in the last 16.

Portugal must at the very least draw with Iran to progress, but need a win to realistically top Group B with Spain facing off against already eliminated Morocco.

Another busy day ahead. See you tomorrow.


Midnight: Colombia eliminate Poland

It finishes 3-0 for Colombia. Radamel Falcao and Juan Cuadrado add second-half goals to give Colombia an ultimately comfortable win.

They now go in to their final game with Japan on Thursday knowing a win will put them in the last 16. A draw, with their goal difference of +2, would be enough if Senegal lose to already eliminated Poland.

But it looks as if they will need to win to be sure as on Sunday's form Poland will be unlikely to get anything from the game with Senegal.

They never got going in this game and they join Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Peru, Costa Rica, South Korea, Tunisia and Panama in being eliminated from the World Cup.


10.55pm: Advantage Colombia

A pretty turgid first 45 minutes but it is Colombia who are keeping themselves in the hunt for a spot in the last 16, while Poland are heading home as it stands.

Yerry Mina headed home James Rodriguez's centre six minutes before the break for the only goal of the game.

Colombia have not been very good. But they have not needed to be. Poland have been dire and need to somehow find a way to turn this around otherwise they are going to be eliminated in about an hour's time.

10pm: Pressure on Colombia and Poland

There is no margin for error for either Colombia or Poland.

They both lost their opening games, and the draw earlier between Japan and Senegal means that if there is a loser in Sunday's last game in Kazan then they are out of the tournament.

Lots at stake here. A win will keep qualification in a team's hands. Lose and you are out. Draw and winning the final game still might not be enough.

This is going to be fascinating.


8.52pm: Full time, Japan 2-2 Senegal

Japan twice came from behind to secure a point as a goal from substitute Keisuke Honda earned a 2-2 draw against Senegal at the Ekaterinburg Arena.

Senegal goalkeeper Khadim N'Diaye was badly at fought, coming off his line to punch the ball but missing it entirely.

Takashi Inui kept the ball in play and squared it to Honda, who had been on the pitch a matter of minutes after coming on for Shinji Kagawa, smashing the ball past a couple of defenders on the line in the process.

It was the former AC Milan player’s 37th goal for Japan, moving him to joint fourth on the country’s list of all-time scorers’ list. In doing so, Honda became the first Japanese to score at three World Cups.

It had looked like the headlines would belong to a Senegalese teenager before Honda’s intervention.

Defender Moussa Wague, 19, became the youngest African player to score at a World Cup to restore Senegal's lead after Takashi Inui had cancelled out Sadio Mane's first-half effort.

Wague arrived in the area like a runaway express train at pace to smash the ball past Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima following a break down the left-hand side.

The result means both teams go into their final Group H matches level on four points with the same goal difference. Senegal face Colombia on Thursday while Japan take on Poland.


8.07pm: Egypt manager defiant

Hector Cuper has rejected rumours of internal unrest among his Egypt squad as they look to “bow out of the World Cup in style” against Saudi Arabia on Monday.

Group A’s two bottom sides, already eliminated following two defeats each, bring down their respective campaigns at the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd.

Goalkeeper and captain Essam El Hadary, 45, is said to have clashed with the goalkeeping coach and players following the 3-1 defeat to Russia last time out, something both manager and player were quick to rebuff.

Read what else Cuper had to say on the Saudi Arabia match here.

Egypt manager Hector Cuper speaks during a press conference in Volgograd ahead of the World Cup Group A match against Saudi Arabia on Monday. Zurab Kurtsikidze / EPA


7.47pm: Half time, Japan 1-1 Senegal

Honours even at the half-time break in a game of few chances.

Senegal took the lead on 11 minutes when Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima parried a shot straight on to the shins of Liverpool forward Sadio Mane.

Japan equalised on 34 minutes following a foray down the left by Yuto Nagatomo, who did well to control the ball in the area under pressure. The Inter Milan defender laid the ball off to Takashi Inui, who just curled in a beautiful right-foot effort beyond Khadim N'Diaye.


7.02pm: 'I didn’t particularly like the performance'

Perhaps the most encouraging element of England's 6-1 win over Panama is that the manager remained grounded afterwards.

“I didn’t particularly like the performance,” said Gareth Southgate, though qualifying those comments. “I didn’t like the start and I didn’t like the goal [conceded] at the end but I guess the bits in the middle were pretty good. I am being hyper-critical. We played some really good stuff for 35-40 minutes.”

A Harry Kane hat-trick, a double for John Stones and a spectacular strike from Jesse Lingard sealed England's qualification to the knockout stages of the World Cup, but Southgate was concerned about the bookings picked up by his side. Top spot in the group could be determined by the Fair Play table with England locked on six points with Belgium, their final Group G opponents on Thursday.

Read Richard Jolly's full-time match report here.

Soccer Football - World Cup - Group G - England vs Panama - Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia - June 24, 2018   England's Harry Kane celebrates with Jordan Henderson after scoring their second goal     REUTERS/Carlos Barria


6.37pm: Messi to receive life-size chocolate birthday cake

When Moscow confectioners found out Lionel Messi would be celebrating his birthday during the World Cup, they decided he needed a gift that measured up - a life-size chocolate sculpture in his likeness.

A team of five workers at Moscow’s Altufyevo Confectionery worked for nearly a week to carve the sculpture in 60 kg (132 lbs) of chocolate to mark the Argentina forward’s 31st birthday on Sunday.

No jokes about it being stale like his performances please.


6.30pm: Japan v Senegal team sheets

Starting line-ups for the World Cup Group H match between Japan and Senegal at Yekaterinburg Arena on Sunday (7pm UAE kick off):


Eiji Kawashima, Gen Shoji, Yuto Nagatomo, Hiroki Sakai, Maya Yoshida, Gaku Shibasaki, Genki Haraguchi, Shinji Kagawa, Takashi Inui, Makoto Hasebe (capt), Yuya Osako

Coach: Akira Nishino (JPN)


Khadim Ndiaye, Moussa Wague, Kalidou Koulibaly, Salif Sane, Youssouf Sabaly, Alfred Ndiaye, Idrissa Gueye, Sadio Mane (capt), Ismaila Sarr, Pape Ndiaye, Mbaye Niang

Coach: Aliou Cisse (SEN)

Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)


6.11pm: Player ratings

England brushed aside a weak Panama side 6-1 to qualify for the last 16 of the World Cup, as Harry Kane netted a hat-trick.

The Tottenham Hotspur striker scored two first-half penalties and deflected in a third after half time as England claimed their biggest win at a World Cup.

See how each player rated here.


5.53pm: Full time, England 6-1 Panama

Another first at the 2018 World Cup as Panama score their first-ever goal at the global finals.

The Central Americans join Iceland in scoring for the first time at a World Cup. A free kick whipped into the box was pounced on by substitute Felipe Baloy, who slid in to direct the ball home and send the Panama fans delirious.

In the grand scheme of things it was little more than consolation though. After starting the second half five goals to the good England soon made it six, although rather fortuitously it has to be said. Just past the hour mark, Harry Kane became only the third English player to record a hat-trick at the World Cup - joining Geoff Hurst and Gary Lineker - although the Tottenham Hotspur striker knew little about it.

A speculative strike from Ruben Loftus-Cheek, in for the injured Dele Alli, clipped the heel of the England captain, wrong footing Jaime Penedo in the Panama goal.

So England join Belgium, their final Group G opponents, in progressing to the last 16.

All that is left to settle now is who will go through as group winners when the two sides meet in Kaliningrad on Thursday.

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, RUSSIA - JUNE 24:  John Stones of England celebrates after scoring his team's first goal  during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group G match between England and Panama at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium on June 24, 2018 in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


5.03pm: Half time, England 5-0 Panama

England are in total control of their Group G clash against Panama, sitting on a five-goal lead at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium at half time.

Jesse Lingard has been the star man in the first 45 minutes, winning a penalty successfully converted by captain Harry Kane before scoring a scorching third for England.

England couldn't have got off to a better start. John Stones' header from a Kieran Trippier corner had given England an eighth-minute lead. The referee then pointed to the penalty spot after Lingard was bundled over by two Panama defenders on 22 minutes. Kane, scorer of both goals in England's 2-1 win over Tunisia, slammed home to make it 2-0.

Lingard then scored England's first goal in Russia not from a corner or a dead ball. The Manchester United midfielder curling home from long-range.

Stones scored his second of the match five minutes before the break. Jordan Henderson's ball into the box was headed back across goal and despite Raheem Sterling's initial effort being saved, Stones was on hand to head in the rebound, the referee waving away Panama protests of offside against the Manchester City defender.

Kane scored his second off the match and second from the penalty spot on the stroke of half time, sending Jaime Penedo the wrong way.

Interesting fact: England have now scored more goals at this World Cup than they have in the previous two tournaments.


3.17pm: England v Panama: teams announced

England manager Gareth Southgate kept faith with Raheem Sterling up front alongside captain Harry Kane in his starting lineup for Sunday's Group G clash with Panama in Nizhny Novgorod.

Southgate's only change was to replace midfielder Dele Alli, who is carrying an injury but stayed on the bench, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek who made a promising substitute's appearance in the opening 2-1 win over Tunisia.

Sterling's retention in the team came at the expense of Marcus Rashford, whom many pundits had expected to start given his trickery late on against the Tunisians.

Panama manager Hernan Gomez kept the same line-up that lost their opener to Belgium, with dreadlocked Roman Torres the linchpin of a defence expecting a busy day.

Los Canaleros (The Canal Men) were again looking to Alberto Quintero in midfield for some creative spark to complement the speed and physicality of other players. The World Cup debutants had 37-year old striker Blas Perez leading the line up front.


Comment: Perspective needed over furore caused by images of leaked England team


England (3-5-2)

Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, John Stones; Harry Maguire; Jordan Henderson, Kieran Trippier, Ashley Young, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek; Hareem Sterling, Harry Kane (capt)

Coach: Gareth Southgate (Eng)

Panama (4-5-1)

Jaime Penedo; Michael Murillo, Roman Torres (capt), Fidel Escobar, Eric Davis; Gabriel Gomez, Edgar Barcenas, Armando Cooper, Anibal Godoy, Jose Luis Rodriguez; Blas Perez

Coach: Hernan Gomez (COL)

Referee: Ghead Grisha (EGY)


2.55pm: Zlatko Dalic exclusive

Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic has thanked the UAE for its support following his side’s World Cup victory against Argentina.

Dalic, who shares a strong affinity with the Emirates having spent three years as Al Ain manager prior to taking the Croatia post, guided his country to a 3-0 win against the two-time world champions in Nizhny Novgorod on Thursday.

The victory resonated in the UAE, with the Burj Khalifa lighting up in red and white on Thursday night with the country's name emblazoned on its exterior. The world’s tallest tower has been marking each team’s victory throughout the tournament as part of a promotion organised by Adidas.

Read what the former Al Ain manager had to tell The National's John McAuley here.

Croatia managaer Zlatko Dalic says he has received messages from members of the Al Ain board and players following his country's 3-0 victory over Argentina at the World Cup. Gabriel Bouys / AFP


1.40pm: Unlike that bust, this Ronaldo mural is spot-on

A Russian artist has paid tribute to Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo by painting a mural of the World Cup's joint top goalscorer as the European champions are set to arrive in the city of Saransk ahead of their decisive final group match against Iran on Monday.

Yulia Antipova painted the three-by-four-metre mural with Ronaldo's smiling face surrounded by Portugal's green and red colours.

Unlike a bust of the player which was placed at an airport in Portugal before it was removed after being widely mocked, not least for its grimacing smile, the mural's likeness to him attracted passersby to stop and pose for photos next to the artwork.

Read full story here. View video and the rather strange bust dedicated to Ronaldo below.

Cristiano Ronaldo was reportedly not very happy with this bust - for good reason. Francisco Leong / AFP


1.05pm: Calm before the storm? England and Panama fans relaxed

A warm and sunny Sunday morning welcomed fans of England and Panama before their teams meet on Sunday afternoon at the Nizhny Novgord Stadium.

Many English fans were confident about the performance of their team but surprised by the warm weather in Nizhny. Temperatures were sitting in the upper 20s during the morning.

Panama lost their first match in Group G to Belgium while England defeated Tunisia 2-1. On Saturday Belgium thrashed Tunisia 5-2.


1pm: Watch Ronaldo and Portugal train

Even as Lionel Messi and his Argentina teammates have struggled in both games they have played so far, Portugal have not had such problems. Messi's rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who leads the reigning European champions at the tournament, has been in excellent form, scoring against Spain and Morocco.

They are up against Iran on Monday, with a win guaranteeing them a spot in the last 16. Watch how they prepare for the big game by swiping the photos below from left to right.


11.15am: Brazil good but fireworks spectacular in St Petersburg

Football fans from all over the world were treated to a spectacular celebration in St Petersburg on Saturday as millions of people gathered in the city centre for Scarlet Sails, the climactic event of the annual White Nights festival.

The tradition celebrates the end of the school year with a stunning fireworks display as a ship with scarlet sails makes its way slowly along the English and Admiralty Embankments to the Winter Palace.

You can read the full story here, watch video below.


10.50am: Echo to Escobar killing

Colombia head into their clash against Poland in Group H on Sunday under pressure to get a result and with their preparations overshadowed by a police investigation into death threats made to midfielder Carlos Sanchez.

In a grisly echo of the killing of Andres Escobar, who was gunned down after scoring an own goal for Colombia at the 1994 World Cup, Sanchez received threats on social media after receiving a red card in the third minute of Tuesday's 2-1 loss against Japan.

You can read the full story here.

Soccer Football - World Cup - Colombia Training - Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia - June 23, 2018   Colombia's Carlos Sanchez during training   REUTERS/John Sibley


9.55am: Another fun day in store

'Morning all! We're back with updates from Day 11 of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

What a day Saturday turned out to be. Belgium proved once again why they are among the teams to beat in this tournament after crushing Tunisia 5-2 in Group G. You can read all about it in this piece by Richard Jolly.

Mexico also continued their winning run, following up on their win over Germany with a 2-1 victory over South Korea. The other Group F game saw Germany come back from the brink of possible elimination when they emerged last-gasp winners over Sweden, their 2-1 triumph keeping their cup defence bid alive.

Today, the first match kick offs at 4pm (UAE time) when England take on Panama. If Gareth Southgate's men win - as is expected, although not a foregone conclusion - they along with Belgium will make the knockout stage of the competition from their group.

That game is followed at 7pm by Japan v Senegal in Group H, with victory almost certainly guaranteeing that team a spot in the next round.

Action concludes at 10pm when Poland face Colombia, with both teams looking to bounce back from their respective losses to Senegal and Japan.

Stay with us throughout the day as we bring you all the news and previews from Russia.