Colombia's James Rodriguez injured during Senegal World Cup game
Jun 28 2018
Jose Pekerman has refused to entertain the prospect of seeing Colombia's stuttering World Cup campaign end with their final Group H clash against Senegal on Thursday.
Heading into the final day of the group stage, three teams - Japan, Colombia, and Senegal - are all still in control of their destinies as they battle for one of the final two spots up for grabs in the knockout round.
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. Japan, Senegal and Colombia can all go through, while Poland have already been knocked out.
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.
"Frankly, we were not very good", concluded Cisse, Senegal captain in their run to the quarter-finals in 2002, their only previous appearance at a World Cup.
Senegal have been playing well.
"I think we have to focus on getting three points rather than make calculations".
It means that a draw for Cisse's side will be enough to progress.
Senegal were far from convincing against Japan and even though Mane scored the opener it had a large dose of good luck about it.
The Lions of Teranga will have to sharpen up if they are to prevail against a vibrant Colombia attack that turned on the style in the second half of their win over Poland.
Group H is the group of death because it's so hard to split the teams.
Senegal remains Africa's only hope for a place in the next round but face an uphill task in an overcoming a Colombiateam that is n the ascendancy and also have their key player - James Rodriguez peaking at the most crucial time.
But there were mitigating circumstances - they played most of the game with 10 men after Carlos Sanchez was dismissed for handball.