Mon, Jun 25, 11:50am by Staff Writer
2018 FIFA World Cup action continued overnight, with England hitting six goals past a hapless Panama side at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.
A hat-trick from captain Harry Kane was the highlight of the match, which was the first between the two sides.
Panama managed a late goal through Felipe Baloy, but have been hammered by Belgium and England in their first World Cup appearance.
Japan and Senegal played out an entertaining two-all draw in Ekaterinburg, with the Blue Samurai trailing twice, but answering with a goal on both occasions.
Both sides are tied on four points, with Japan the group H leaders.
Colombia bounced back from a shock loss against Japan to eliminate Poland after a 3-0 win in Kazan.
Their final group game against Senegal will decide their fate, with the South American’s needing a win to progress.
Poland have been disappointing thus far and have failed to score in two matches, after breezing through European qualification for the tournament.
Elsewhere over the weekend, Germany managed to remain in contention for the knockout rounds, with a 95th minute Toni Kroos goal saving the Germans.
The 2-1 win against Sweden has moved the reigning champs to second in group F behind Mexico.
El Tri defeated South Korea 2-1 and have taken a maximum six points from their first two matches at this year’s tournament.
Romelu Lukaku scored two of Belgium’s five goals as they defeated Tunisia 5-2 on Saturday night.
Both Belgium and England have progressed to the knockout rounds from group G, with Tunisia and Panama both eliminated.
In the most stunning result from the weekend’s play, Croatia defeated Argentina 3-0 thanks to three, second half goals.
That results leaves Croatia at the top of group D on six points, with Nigeria in second position on 3 points.
Argentina will need a win against Nigeria in their final group game to progress, and hope that Iceland does not defeat Croatia.
The final group matches in groups A and B take place on Tuesday morning, with plenty to play for in all four fixtures.
In Samara, Uruguay and Russia have both progressed to the knockout stage, but a win to either side would change their positioning within the group.
Currently Russia top group A with a five goal advantage compared to Uruguay, but the South Americans will fancy their chances of defeating the host nation and finishing top of the group.
Uruguay are $2.62 favourites to beat the hosts, who are priced at $3.10. The draw is paying $3.10. A drawn result would favour Russia, as this is a must-win fixture for Uruguay.
In Volgograd, Saudi Arabia and Egypt will be looking to salvage a victory from what has otherwise been a poor campaign for both teams.
Although unfancied before the tournament began, neither has shown any attacking flair during the tournament and both were dispatched easily by hosts Russia.
With Liverpool ace Mo Salah scoring the teams only goal at the tournament thus far, the Pharaohs are priced at $1.85 to defeat Saudi Arabia and should do so.
Given Salah’s brilliance and Saudi Arabia’s poor defensive display, particularly in the opening game, they may struggle once again.
Saudi Arabia is priced at $4.75 for the win, with the draw paying $3.60.
In group B, Spain and Portugal are tied on four points, with Iran close behind on three points.
Iran will need to beat Portugal in Saransk to progress to the knockout rounds, while Spain has a much easier match against Morocco in Kaliningrad.
An Iran victory is unlikely according to bookmakers, with the Middle Eastern nation priced at $6 to beat Portugal.
The reigning European champions are $1.70 to win the match at Sportsbet, with a draw priced at $3.75.
With Cristiano Ronaldo firing this tournament, they should be able to dispatch Iran, who are fortunate to have a chance to progress after a 95th minute own goal scored by Morocco in their opening game.
Spain are $1.36 to defeat Morocco and should have no troubles defeating the winless African nation.
The minnows are $11, with the draw at $5. In that match, there is value in the correct score markets, with Spain to win 3-0 paying $8.50.
Spain in the half-time/full-time market at $1.95 is another worthy bet.
FIFA World Cup Match Odds – Sportsbet
Uruguay $2.62 Draw $3.10 Russia $3.10
Saudi Arabia $4.75 Draw $3.60 Egypt $1.85
Iran $6 Draw $3.75 Portugal $1.70
Spain $1.36 Draw $5 Morocco $11
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