Falcao to debut at World Cup when Colombia faces Japan

Lynette Rowe
June 19, 2018

Colombia coach Jose Pekerman asserts that mix has his team poised to advance beyond the quarterfinals for the first time.

In the United States, the game is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on Fox Sports 1 (English broadcast) and Telemundo (Spanish broadcast).

The other match of Group H will see Senegal taking on Poland, the first time ever in both teams' history.

"We are still waiting to see what the doctors will say on James", Pekerman said in a pre-match news conference on Monday.

Fresh from losing several friendly matches since qualifying for the World Cup, Japan is nervous at the prospect of facing AS Monaco's Falcao and Rodriguez - on loan from Real Madrid at Bayern Munich.

"We must have the initiative, this team has been characterised by that", Aguilar said.

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Meanwhile, Japan has had strong showings in the AFC Asian Cup, but their record in the World Cup hasn't been great. Egypt (1-0 to Uruguay), Morocco (1-0 to Iran), Nigeria (2-0 to Croatia) and Tunisia (2-1 to England) all lost their group openers.

On the ground in Russian Federation, a psychic cat named Achilles found fame after taking time out from chasing mice at St Petersburg's Hermitage Museum to successfully predict the host nation would beat Saudi Arabia in their opening game. Eleven of the selected players featured at the last World Cup in Brazil.

Sall was invited to the World Cup by Federation Internationale de Football Association secretary general Fatma Samoura, who is from Senegal.

Poland will be hoping that their captain Robert Lewandoski, who is a prolific goal scorer in the German Bundesliga, can lift his teammates to glory. They have also won just one of their five opening games in the competition (D1 L3), against Cameroon in 2010.

On the question of Salah's fitness, the coach Hector Cuper has said he is hopeful the star forward will play, if given the green light by a final fitness test before the match.

Colombia will look to make their case as serious challengers for the FIFA World Cup on Tuesday, as they get their campaign under way against Japan.

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