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VOLGOGRAD, Russia, June 24, 2018 (MENA) - The Egyptian national football team performed Sunday their last training session at Volgograd Arena Stadium in preparation for their last match in the FIFA World Cup against Saudi Arabia.

Both teams have no chance to qualify for the next stage. The qualifiers from Group A are hosts Russia and Uruguay, who beat the two Arab squads.

The match will be played at 5pm local time (4pm Cairo time) on Monday.

YEKATERINBURG, Russia, June 24, 2018 (News Wires) – Senegal and Japan have played out to an entertaining 2-2 draw in a Group H encounter at the Soccer World Cup on Sunday.

Senegal opened the scoring in the 11th minute in fortunate circumstance when a shot from Youssouf Sabaly was saved by Japanese keeper Eiji Kawashima but ricocheted off Sadio Mane and into the net.

Japan were level in the 34th minute thanks to some sloppy defending from the African side which saw them fail to clear danger effectively.

The ball came to Takashi Inui who unleashed a low curler into the bottom corner of the Senegalese net to draw the teams level at 1-1 which is the way it stayed till half-time.

The sides remained deadlocked until the 70th minute when Senegal restored their lead somewhat against the run of play thanks to a goal from teenager Moussa Wague.

The lead was short lived, however, as Japanese veteran Keisuke Honda scored an equaliser after more poor defending by Senegal saw the teams locked at 2-2.

And that's the way it stayed with Japan and Senegal now level on four points each in Group H.

Japan will now face Poland in their final group match while Senegal are up against Colombia.

MOSCOW, June 24, 2018 (News Wires) - Mohamed Salah looks likely to start against Saudi Arabia in Volgograd on Sunday as Egypt go in search of a first-ever World Cup win in a battle to avoid finishing bottom of Group A.

But Egypt’s 45-year-old goalkeeper Essam El Hadary may have to wait for an appearance off the bench to set a record as the oldest player ever to appear at a World Cup.

Egypt coach Hector Cuper said he would not tinker greatly with the starting XI that were dumped out of the tournament 3-1 by hosts Russia on Tuesday.

“The manager needs a reason to make changes,” Cuper told reporters before Salah took part in a full training session at the Volgograd Arena. “We are not going to change our style.”

An appearance for El Hadary would smash the age record set by Faryd Mondragon in Brazil four years ago.

The Colombia goalkeeper was 43 years and three days old when he played against Japan in a 4-1 group stage victory in Cuiaba.

But the 158-capped El Hadary said he did not know if he would play.

“I will be very happy if I participate and set the record,” he said. “But it is not certain.”

Cuper made it clear that he considered it important for Egypt’s future to register a first-ever win at a World Cup and he would field his strongest side.

“We must bow out in style,” he said.

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia, June 24, 2018 (News Wires) - England’s young and free-flowing team banished the ghost of past national failures with a record 6-1 thrashing of Panama on Sunday that included a hat-trick by Harry Kane and eased them into the last 16.

England’s biggest World Cup win, which included two penalties by Kane then a deflection off his heel, also guaranteed Belgium’s berth in the next round.

It left the shell-shocked Central Americans out of their debut tournament with nine goals conceded in Group G.

Tunisia were also eliminated.

Playing from the off with an ease and trickery that contrasted with the stressed-looking England flops of recent international tournaments, Gareth Southgate’s team romped into a remarkable 5-0 lead at halftime.

Defender John Stones headed England in front in the eighth minute from a corner, losing his marker to angle home a corner, before captain Kane made it 2-0 in the 22nd minute with a penalty after Jesse Lingard was pushed over by Fidel Escobar.

Lingard made it 3-0 in the 36th minute with a beautiful strike from just outside the area before Stones nodded in his second and England’s fourth after a cleverly worked free-kick routine. Kane scored another penalty just before halftime.

The Tottenham striker bagged his third after a 61st-minute shot by Ruben Loftus-Cheek hit his foot and bounced over Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.

Current World Cup top scorer on five goals after two games, Kane was then substituted for Jaime Vardy up front, to a standing ovation from the nearly 2,500 England fans at Nizhny Novgorod. He has scored all five of his shots on target.

Kane became just the third England player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup game following Geoff Hurst in the 1966 final and Gary Lineker against Poland in the 1986 tournament.

“First time in a long time since we’ve seen a hat-trick from England player in the World Cup, absolutely delighted for Harry and the team,” tweeted Hurst.

Panama’s equal-sized army of red-shirted fans continued to dance and cheer on the ‘Canaleros’ (Canalmen) to the end.

Substitute Felipe Baloy rewarded them with a consolation goal in the 78th minute, sliding home a free kick that was Panama’s first ever World Cup goal.

But in truth, it was a humbling experience for Panama against a side known to get nervous and slip up against less illustrious rivals on the big stage.

For England fans, the pain of losing to Iceland in the 2016 European Championships and a first-round exit without a win at the 2014 World Cup, was finally slipping away.

Southgate’s task now will be to keep his young charges’ feet on the ground, and guard against complacency whomever they face next from Group H’s quartet of Japan, Senegal, Poland and Colombia.

MOSCOW, June 24, 2018 (News Wires) - FIFA said late on Saturday it had fined the Polish Football Association 10,000 Swiss francs ($10,124) for what it said was an offensive banner displayed by Polish fans during their side's 2-1 World Cup defeat to Senegal on Tuesday.

"The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned the Polish Football Association with a fine of CHF 10,000 and a warning for the display of a political and offensive banner by Polish fans," FIFA said in a statement.

It did not go into detail about what the offending banner looked like.

The Polish Football Association declined to comment.

FIFA earlier this week also fined the Mexican Football Federation for what it called "discriminatory and insulting chants" by fans during Mexico's surprise 1-0 win over Germany last week.

It has also opened disciplinary proceedings against the Argentine FA and the Croatian FA for what it said were several crowd disturbance incidents during the two country's encounter on Thursday.

Disciplinary proceedings have been opened by FIFA against Switzerland players Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka too over their goal celebrations during their win on Friday over Serbia at the World Cup.

Similar proceedings were opened against the Serbian FA for crowd disturbances and a display of what FIFA said were political and offensive messages by Serbian fans, while the Serbian coach Mladen Krstajic is facing a preliminary FIFA investigation over statements he made after that match.


MOSCOW, June 24, 2018 (News Wires) - France forward Antoine Griezmann is confident his World Cup form will pick up following a slow start.

Although he earned and scored a penalty as France opened its campaign with a 2-1 win against Australia, he had a quiet game otherwise and was substituted by coach Didier Deschamps with 20 minutes remaining.

Griezmann was taken off with 10 minutes left in the 1-0 win against Peru, following another frustratingly below-par performance.

But Griezmann, the European Championship's top scorer two years ago, is confident he can repeat his Euro 2016 exploits.

He tells French soccer show Telefoot, "I will get better and better. It was the same at the Euros. It was only after the (second round) that I started to play very well."

Les Bleus take on Denmark in their final World Cup group-stage outing on Tuesday.

Midfielder Paul Pogba praised Griezmann for his "enormous" work-rate when tracking back to defend against Peru.

Pogba says, "He's fighting for the team."

 

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