Colombia Should Dictate the Pace Against Senegal
Senegal vs. Colombia, 10 a.m. ET, Fox
- Senegal +362
- Colombia -114
- Draw +269
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After an early red card to Carlos Sanchez cost them in their opener against Japan, Colombia came out in style against Poland on Sunday. Los Cafeteros looked fresh and they were able to exploit Poland’s lack of speed in style, winning 3-0. James Rodriguez looked fresh, and “El Tigre” Radamel Falcao was able to get his first World Cup goal. All in all, Colombia looked composed, and in a tournament where so many teams have looked shaky on the ball, it was encouraging to see the opposite from Colombia.
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Senegal come into this one after playing a relatively even match with Japan that ended 2-2. The Lions of Teranga blew a pair of one-goal leads and failed to kill the game against a Japan team that is a few notches below Colombia. Senegal also may be without one of their main attacking threats, M’Baye Niang, after he limped off against Japan.
There is a lot to play for in this match. Senegal advances with a draw or a win, while Colombia can advance with a win OR a draw coupled with a Japan loss. This could end up coming into play in the latter parts of the game.
This situation is nothing new for Colombia. In their last match of qualifying, Colombia and Peru played out a draw because they knew both teams would advance with that result. Even though Japan vs. Poland is happening simultaneously, if Samurai Blue falls behind by multiple goals, you may see both teams settle down and accept a draw as a result. To start, you can expect an up-tempo match that could either slow down or become a see-saw affair in the last 30 minutes based on the other game.
This should be the toughest test for Senegal thus far. Aliou Cisse’s side has not seen a team with the talent and speed that James, Juan Cuadrado and the rest of Los Cafeteros possess. I expect Colombia to give Senegal fits on the defensive side of the ball and think Colombia could win this game going away if Senegal need to push, and in turn, put Colombia on the counterattack. Colombia already showed how deadly they could be last game in that exact scenario.