Pekerman Prepared To Make Changes In Colombia Squad

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Carlos Sanchez received a red card in the third minute against Japan, forcing his team to play almost the entire match a man down.

Playmaker Rodriguez was restricted to a substitute appearance in the opening defeat against Japan due to a calf injury.

"Their speed and physical strength are something that I have expected, but (what stood out) are their discipline and strong defense as a team", said the Galatasaray defender.

Four years on and having relaunched his career with Monaco following a disastrous spell in England with Manchester United and Chelsea, Falcao has the chance to showcase the predatory talents that steered Atletico Madrid to the Europa League and Spanish Super Cup victories in 2012.

Prediction - Poland just peaked too early in this World Cup cycle.

Poland and Colombia have their backs against the wall, respectively losing to Senegal and Japan in their opening matches.

"When there are teams ahead with an advantage, it's not easy in the World Cup to turn things around", Pekerman told reporters yesterday on the eve of the Group H match at Kazan Arena.

"All I know is at this level of competition with the players we have today, who are world-class, these were avoidable goals".

Sunday's match will be the first competitive meeting between the two countries.

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But the midfielder, known for his free kicks and versatility in attack that have helped him to 36 goals in 96 appearances including seven in Japan's qualifying campaign, nearly never made it to Russian Federation at all.

Japan midfielder Keisuke Honda has questioned Senegal's defence and believes the Samurai Blue can "fool" the Africans with a crafty game in their World Cup Group H clash on Sunday.

When he was sacked, the decision could not have come sooner for Honda.

"I always say the second match is the deciding match and we have to win, no matter who we play".

The Kagoshima Prefecture native also made a vital contribution at the defensive end, tracking back to block a close-range shot from James Rodriguez as Colombia desperately pressed for a late equalizer.

Japan is an experienced team - the nation has qualified for the past six World Cups - that could be at full strength against Senegal.

A string of disappointing results from matches in the lead-up to Russian Federation, including a 2-0 defeat to Ghana in Yokohama and a 2-0 defeat to Switzerland in Lucerne did not augur well for the 63-year-old Nishino, who led Gamba Osaka to the 2008 Asian Champions League. And even if Japan don't succeed, he still feels "amazing" to still be representing the national side.

"Since I made that my target, I've just focused on that".

The Confederation of African Football cancelled the 2019 AFCON qualifiers, which had been set for March this year, to help the five African representatives fine-tune their preparations for a crack at this World Cup and make a huge impression at the showcase. It's pretty nice, it's wonderful in fact. The team also hopes to get more scoring opportunities from Liverpool forward Sadio Mane.