Tue, Jun 19, 3:20pm by Staff Writer
A stoppage time winner from Harry Kane ensured victory for England, in a match where their opponents Tunisia were destined to grab a point in Volgograd.
Kane scored both of England’s goals, his first in the 11th minute and second in the 91st minute. It is England’s first win in the opening game of a major tournament since they beat Paraguay in the 2006 World Cup.
England are $13 to win the World Cup at Sportsbet, with the North African nation $501.
England missed a host of chances early in the match as they ran Tunisia off the park, but were unable to convert. Ferjani Sassi equalized from the penalty spot in the second half after an errant elbow from Kyle Walker.
Tunisia frustrated England during the second half, but Kane’s late goal was deserved, and justice for two blatant penalties missed by the VAR in the second half.
England plays Panama on Sunday, before a group decider against Belgium. England are $2.40 to top group G, with Belgium $1.45.
Belgium recorded a strong 3-0 win against Panama in Sochi on Tuesday morning.
Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku scored twice in the second half, after a Dries Mertens goal in the second half broke the half-time deadlock.
The third ranked team in the world finally broke the debutants resistance thanks to a wonderful volley goal by Mertens.
Goal keeper Thibaut Courtois reacted quickly to a shot from Michael Murillo which could have been the equaliser Panama were looking for, but they were outplayed throughout.
Belgium are $10 to win the World Cup, with Panama $501 outsiders.
Sweden’s first World Cup appearance in 12 years was marked with a 1-0 win against South Korea.
A penalty awarded by the VAR from captain Andreas Granqvist was the difference between the two sides, after a Kim Min-woo foul.
Sweden join Mexico atop group F after their win against Germany.
South Korea were disappointing, competing in their ninth successive world cup. They created few chances and will struggle in group F.
Group F is now the most unpredictable group in the tournament. With Germany’s loss against Mexico, they are $3.75 to top group F, with Mexico the favourites now at $1.57. Sweden are $4.33 outsiders and South Korea are a huge $51.
Group H action gets underway on Tuesday evening with Colombia and Japan meeting in Mordovia.
Colombia are $1.67 favourites at Sportsbet to win, with Japan $6 outsiders. The draw is paying $3.50.
These two teams met in the group stage four years ago in Brazil, where Colombia crushed the Blue Samurai 4-1.
James Rodriguez may not start for Colombia, but he will be key to their attack if he comes off the bench. He is capable of creating goals and carries a threat all over the final third.
For Japan, Yuya Osako is expected to lead the line in attack, with the likes of Shinji Kagawa, Keisuke Honda and Shinji Okazaki sure to provide an attacking threat as well.
None of Colombia’s 18 World Cup matches have ended goalless, with Japan only winning two of its last 11 World Cup games.
Colombia should get the win and are a solid bet at $1.67, but over 2.5 goals at $2.40 is the best bet of this game considering Colombia’s past results against Japan.
Poland and Senegal meet at the Otkyrtie Arena on Wednesday morning to close out group H’s opening games.
Poland are $2.30 favourites, with Senegal priced at $3.50 and the draw is $3.
Robert Lewandowski and Sadio Mane had superstar seasons for their clubs and will be looking to translate that to the world stage when they clash on Wednesday.
Lewandowski scored 16 goals in 10 games, more than half of Poland’s total of 28 goals. He is their key in attack, and if he is not heavily involved, the Poles will find scoring difficult.
Senegal may have threats in the attacking end of the park, but their ability to defend is what may jeopardise their chances in this contest. These teams have never met, with Poland unbeaten in their three games against African opposition at the World Cup.
Poland is good value at $2.30 to get the win on Wednesday.
Hosts Russia are in action once again on Wednesday morning when they take on Egypt at the Krestovsky Stadium.
Russia are $2 favourites for the match, with Egypt $4 outsiders. The draw is $3.10.
Russia were dominant in their 5-0 win against Saudi Arabia, and a win against Egypt would nearly guarantee their passage to the knockout rounds.
Egypt were impressive against Uruguay, before conceding a late goal, and played without Mo Salah.
Egypt are yet to win a match at a World Cup finals, with two draws and three losses, failing to score in each of their past three matches at the big tournament.
Russia won’t be as prolific as they were in the opening game and the draw looks a good option at $3.10.
FIFA World Cup Match Odds – Sportsbet
Colombia $1.67 Draw $3.50 Japan $6
Poland $2.30 Draw $3 Senegal $3.50
Russia $2 Draw $3.10 Egypt $4
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