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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 October 2018

World Cup 2018: Day 5 as it happened - England, Belgium, Sweden earn wins

Catch up on all of Monday's action in Russia as Sweden beat South Korea, Belgium thrashed Panama, and England edged past Tunisia

Harry Kane runs off in celebration after scoring England's winning goal against Tunisia in their World Cup Group G mathc. Francis R Malasig / EPA
Harry Kane runs off in celebration after scoring England's winning goal against Tunisia in their World Cup Group G mathc. Francis R Malasig / EPA

12.15am: That's all for today, folks!

Day 5 of the 2018 World Cup is in the books, and what a day it has been! Sweden got the ball rolling with a 1-0, VAR-assisted win over South Korea in Group F, before Belgium produced an impressive second-half display to defeat Panama in Group G. Group rivals England then wrapped up the day's action with a dramatic late win over Tunisia.

Looking ahead to Tuesday - Day 6 in Russia - Group H teams complete the first round of group matches as Colombia face Japan and Poland take on Senegal.

Then it's the turn of the hosts once more as they look to follow up their emphatic opening win over Saudi Arabia against an Egypt side who are expected to welcome back their star man Mohamed Salah.

The National's John McAuley is following the Egypt team closely in Russia, so be sure to read his preview looking ahead to Tuesday's showdown.

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11.53pm: FT: Tunisia 1 England 2

England looked set for a rampant victory after flying out of the blocks, captain Harry Kane heading home the opener after 11 minutes. For the previous 10 minutes - and the subsequent 24 minutes - England were in total control and should have scored another three of four.

Instead, Tunisia fought their way back in when Ferjani Sassi slotted home a penalty in the 35th minute.

After the break, England went searching for the second goal but the intensity levels dropped and Tunisia held their shape to nullify any potential attacks.

However, just as the game seemed destined for a draw, Kane popped up to head home his second goal of the night to secure all three points for England.

Job done (just) for Gareth Southgate's side, who slot into second in Group G behind Belgium, who earned an emphatic 3-0 win over Panama earlier in the day.

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11.50pm: GOAL! Kane strikes at the death

Harry Kane claims his second goal of the night to win it for England in the second minute of injury time! It looked set to be a frustrating night for England as Tunisia did well to pack their defence in the second half, only for Kane to head home with minutes to go.

England certainly deserved this win and relief - as much as celebration - will be the overriding emotion.

One game, one win. It was a bit nervy but manager Gareth Southgate will be satisfied to claim all three points.

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10.50pm: HT: Tunisia 1 England 1

England will be scratching their heads, trying to figure out how they are not five or six goals clear at the break. Raheem Sterling and Jesse Lingard in particular have been guilty of wasting good chances.

Harry Kane put England ahead only for England's continued wastefulness to be punished by a Ferjani Sassi penalty.

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10.34pm: GOAL! Sassi equalises from the penalty spot

Tunisia are level from the penalty spot after Kyle Walker's flailing arm is deemed a foul. Ferjani Sassi then steps up to bury the spot kick just our of Jordan Pickford's reach.

Massively against the run of play but Tunisia took their chance.

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10.12pm: GOAL! Kane opens scoring for England

That's one way to celebrate your first World Cup match as captain! Harry Kane gets England up and running with a close range header in the 11th minute.

It's been an impressive opening 10 minutes for England.

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10.10pm: Fast start for England

England have made a lightning fast start to this match and had two glaring chances to get off the mark. First Jesse Lingard had his close range effort blocked on the line, before Raheem Sterling got his feet tangled when staring at an open goal.

Will they live to regret those misses? Ten minutes in, still 0-0.

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9.45pm: England v Tunisia closes out Day 5

After Sweden's narrow win over South Korea, and Belgium's hammering of Panama, England and Tunisia will close the curtain on the fifth day of the 2018 World Cup.

A quick reminder of the teams:

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9.30pm: Best photos from Belgium's win over Panama

Before we turn our attention to the last match of the day - England v Tunisia - here are the best photos from Belgium's 3-0 win over Panama.

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8.55pm: FT: Belgium 3 Panama 0

After a frustrating first half, Belgium came to life after the interval with Dries Mertens setting the tone with a stunning goal minutes into the second half. Romelu Lukaku then made sure of the three points with two fine goals - the first a header from a Kevin De Bruyne cross, the second a fine finish after rushing on to Eden Hazard's through ball.

Job done for Belgium.

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8.35pm: GOAL! Lukaku strikes again

A second of the game (and tournament) for Romelu Lukaku as Belgium looked to have wrapped up the three points against Panama.

Can the Manchester United man stake his claim for the Golden Boot? He's started well enough!

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8.30pm: GOAL! Lukaku off the mark for Belgium

Belgium in control against Panama as Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku gets his head on the end of Kevin De Bruyne's curling cross.

Much more assured performance from Belgium in this second half. It's going to take something spectacular for Panama to get anything from this match now.

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8.05pm: GOAL! Mertens gives Belgium the lead

The exact start to the second half Belgium would have wanted as Napoli forward Dries Mertens scores a stunning volley from the edge of the area.

Can Panama respond? Or will Belgium open the floodgates? Still plenty of time in this match.

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7.50pm: HT: Belgium 0 Panama 0

Frustration for so far Belgium who have had most of the ball and the better chances but nothing to show for their efforts. Panama composed themselves after a wayward opening 10 minutes and have battled well to keep it goalless.

Eden Hazard has been Belgium's brightest player and the Chelsea man will need to produce more of the same in the second half. Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne has struggled to dictate the game the way we know he can, while Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku is yet to trouble the Panama defence.

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez will surely be demanding his side up the tempo and intensity in the second half.

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7.30pm: Panama easing their way in

Belgium are undoubtedly the more dangerous team but Panama are easing their way into this match after looking lost at sea in the opening 10 minutes.

Half an hour gone, still goalless.

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7.15pm: One-way traffic for Belgium

No goals in the opening 10 minutes but it's been all Belgium so far. Eden Hazard looking lively. Dries Mertens with the best chance for Belgium but his rasping effort was palmed away by Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.

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6.45pm: Time for Belgium v Panama

With the first round of Group F matches completed, it's time to switch our attentions to Group G as Belgium face Panama at Fisht Olympic Stadium. Kick-off is 7pm (UAE time).

In case you've not seen them yet, here are today's starting XIs...

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6.40pm: 'A triumph for technology and Sweden alike'

It's almost time to tune in for Belgium v Panama, but before we do, check out Richard Jolly's report from Sweden's narrow but ultimately deserved win over South Korea.

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6.10pm: The best photos from Sweden v South Korea

Before we switch our focus to Belgium v Panama, look back on this Group F encounter with a selection of the best photos from the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium. The win puts Sweden level on points with Mexico after their shock win over Germany on Sunday.

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5.55pm: FT: Sweden 1 South Korea 0

Sweden have claimed a deserved win over South Korea, with captain Andreas Granqvist's second half penalty - awarded using VAR - the difference between the two sides. South Korea, led by Tottenham's Son Heung-min, tried to find an opening late on but Sweden held firm to earn all three points in this Group F clash.

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5.45pm: Belgium and Panama teams announced

As Sweden v South Korea enters the final few minutes, here are the teams for today's next match between Belgium and Panama...

Belgium XI v Panama: Courtois, Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen, Meunier, Witsel, De Bruyne, Carrasco, Mertens, E Hazard (c), R Lukaku

Panama XI v Belgium: Penedo, Murillo, Escobar, R Torres, Davis, Gomez, Cooper, Godoy, J Rodriguez, Perez, G Torres

Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Jan Vertonghen all take their places for Belgium against Panama. Francois Lenoir / Reuters
Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Jan Vertonghen all take their places for Belgium against Panama. Francois Lenoir / Reuters

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5.23pm: GOAL! Granqvist slots home for Sweden

Another VAR awarded penalty and there's little dispute in this one as Kim Min-Woo takes down Viktor Claesson. Sweden captain Andreas Granqvist then slots home with ease.

Sweden claim a deserved lead.

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5.15pm: Early chances for Sweden and South Korea

The first 10 minutes of the second half see both Sweden and South Korea presented with great chances to break the deadlock. First, Sweden's Emil Forsberg blazes over from 18 yards when he should have hit the target, before Korea's Koo Ja-cheol flashes the side netting.

Then Ola Toivonen's header is blocked by Korea's inspired goalkeeper Cho Hyun-woo. If this stays goalless, he's got the man of the match award sown up.

South Korea goalkeeper Jo Hyun-woo. Lee Jin-man / AP Photo
South Korea goalkeeper Jo Hyun-woo. Lee Jin-man / AP Photo

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4.48pm: HT: Sweden 0 South Korea 0

The referee blows for half-time and it remains goalless at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium. No goals but plenty of fouls - the 23 committed in the opening 45 minutes is the most of any game at the 2018 World Cup so far. Sweden have perhaps shaded it but there's still all to play for in this Group F encounter.

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4.35pm: Not exactly a classic so far....

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4.20pm: UAE eyes on Marcus Berg

Sweden's No 9, leading the line right now against South Korea, will be familiar to UAE football fans following his remarkable debut season for Al Ain. Berg scored 36 goals in 36 appearances, including 25 in 21 matches in the Arabian Gulf League to shoot Al Ain to the title and secure the Golden Boot. His goal in the President’s Cup final ensured his side clinched an historic double.

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3.35pm: South Korea and Sweden announce line-ups

South Korea (4-3-3): Jo Hyeon-woo, Yong Lee, Park Joo-ho, Kim Young-gwon, Jang Hyun-soo, Koo Ja-cheol, Ki Sung-yueng (capt), Lee Jae-sung, Son Heung-min, Kim Shin-wook, Hwang Hee-chan

Manager: Shin Tae-yong (KOR)

Sweden (4-4-2): Robin Olsen, Mikael Lustig, Andreas Granqvist (capt), Ludwig Augustinsson, Pontus Jansson, Sebastian Larsson, Albin Ekdal, Emil Forsberg, Viktor Claesson, Marcus Berg, Ola Toivonen

Manager: Janne Andersson (SWE)

Referee: Joel Aguilar (SLV)

South Korea players form a huddle during the warm-up before their match against Sweden. Carlos Barria / Reuters
South Korea players form a huddle during the warm-up before their match against Sweden. Carlos Barria / Reuters

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3pm: Love for Brazil and Argentina in India

One of life's mysteries is why South American football is so popular in India. Sample this Lionel Messi-loving fan from the eastern state of Bengal who painted his house in Argentina colours ahead of the World Cup.

It is also huge in the southern coastal state of Kerala, which is still football country despite the gradual, inevitable takeover by cricket in recent years.

So why South American footy? One theory is that people listened to and watched Brazil and Argentina play before they did the European teams. On a deeper level, they also seem to identify with South Americans for their flair and the overt expression of their emotions and passions. People still talk about the 1982 Brazil team and the 1986 Argentina side.

Sure, access to the Premier League and the Uefa Champions League is ensuring people's tastes are changing, with the emerging generation getting more interested in club football.

But change is slow. As this tweet illustrates, international football is alive and well. And in India's absence, Brazil and Argentina will do.

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1.55pm: Messi not the only one to experience World Cup pain

Lionel Messi need not feel lonely. Really. Yeah he missed from the penalty spot during Argentina's draw against World Cup debutants Iceland. But as it turns out, our online editor Ian Oxborrow has compiled a list of personalities who have had forgettable moments on the world's biggest stage.

Remember, for instance, Diana Ross's penalty miss to kick off USA 1994? No? Then watch the video below before clicking here to read Oxborrow's list. It's such a fun read.

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12.55pm: Kolarov scores a goal, wins a car

Serbia's Aleksandar Kolarov had a good day in Samara: he scored a magnificent World Cup goal and was presented with a Lada by the governor.

The Roma defender struck a thunderous second-half free-kick that clinched Serbia a 1-0 victory over Costa Rica on Sunday.

"Kolarov scored a wonderful goal and we gave him a prize -- a certificate for a Lada 4x4," acting governor Dmitry Azarov was quoted as saying by the Izvestia newpaper.

"He was very happy and the entire team celebrated the news."

You can view full story here.

Serbia's win over Costa Rica - in pictures

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11.50am: Toddler makes World Cup debut

Given that David Kuhn proposed to his wife Sandra amidst the euphoria that followed Australia's qualification for the 2006 tournament, it is perhaps not too surprising the couple wanted to give their daughter an early taste of World Cup fever.

And so it was on Saturday that toddler Emmy was dressed up in a tiny green and gold replica shirt and joined some 10,000 fans from down under cheering on the Socceroos in their Group C opener against France.

You can read the full story here, or watch video below.

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11am: Al Ain's Marcus Berg backed to fire against Koreans

Sweden have every confidence Al Ain striker Marcus Berg and his fellow forwards can fire the team to an opening victory at the World Cup when they take on South Korea on Monday, writes John McAuley.

The Scandinavians, placed in a testing Group F with world champions Germany and Mexico, have found scoring tough going in their most recent matches.However, Sweden captain Andreas Granqvist is backing his side to come good by the time they face Korea at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.

Sweden can call upon for the match the in-form Berg, who arrives at the World Cup on the back of a superb debut season for Al Ain. The frontman, who joined the Garden City last summer from Greek side Panathinaikos, scored 36 goals in 36 appearances. In doing so, he finished with the 2017/18 Arabian Gulf League’s Golden Boot (25 goals in 21 appearances), while he also stood top of the assists charts.

Berg’s bounty ensured Al Ain clinched the UAE championship for the first time in three years. That in itself should be enough to convince Sweden they can turn around their form in front of goal.

Click here to read McAuley's story.

Sweden's forward Marcus Berg has been responsible for Al Ain's success in the 2017/18 season. Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP
Sweden's forward Marcus Berg has been responsible for Al Ain's success in the 2017/18 season. Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP

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10.40am: Why South Korea's progress won't be a walk in the park

Park Ji-sung, considered by many to be South Korea’s greatest ever player, tells John McAuley that Sunday’s shock result in the Group F opener between Mexico and Germany makes his country’s chances of progression to the knockout stages even more difficult.

The former Manchester United midfielder, who represented Korea at three global finals between 2002 and 2010, was in attendance at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow to witness the Mexicans stun the world champions with a 1-0 victory.

With Joachim Low’s men expected to top the group, the defeat increases the pressure on South Korea, who get their campaign under way on Monday against Sweden at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.

You can read McAuley's full interview with Park here.

Former Manchester Utd player Park Ji-sung expects South Korea to reach the knockout stages, but concedes it will be difficult. Paul Ellis / AFP
Former Manchester Utd player Park Ji-sung expects South Korea to reach the knockout stages, but concedes it will be difficult. Paul Ellis / AFP

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10.15am: Pogba stripped of goal

Paul Pogba has been stripped of France's second goal in their World Cup opener against Australia.

Didier Deschamps's side entered the final 10 minutes of their Group C match at 1-1, with an Antoine Griezmann penalty cancelled out by a spot kick from Mile Jedinak.

The winner for France in Kazan came on 81 minutes, when the Manchester United man got a toe to the ball which looped over Mathew Ryan and across the line before bouncing back out.

But it has now been ruled that Aziz Behich got the final touch and the Bursaspor defender has now been credited with an own goal.

Paul Pogba had been credited with France's winner against Australia on Saturday. Robert Cianflone / Getty Images
Paul Pogba had been credited with France's winner against Australia on Saturday. Robert Cianflone / Getty Images

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9.55am: Here's some Monday Motivation for England fans

The England football team have a message for their supporters ahead of tonight's game against Tunisia. It might move even the non-fans of the Three Lions.

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9.30am: Day 5 is here

'Morning all!

Action on Day 4 of the World Cup witnessed two upsets, with Germany losing to Mexico 1-0 and Brazil being held to a 1-1 draw by Switzerland. The only result that probably went according to script was Serbia's 1-0 win over Costa Rica.

You can read our main man in Russia John McAuley's piece on Mexico's win over the reigning champions here.

One of our other men at the World Cup, Gary Meenaghan, has reported from Brazil's shock result. You can read his piece on what was said after the game by clicking here.

Today's action

England's Kyle Walker and Harry Kane enjoy a drill during a training session in St Petersburg. Oleg Nikishin / Getty Images
England's Kyle Walker and Harry Kane enjoy a drill during a training session in St Petersburg. Oleg Nikishin / Getty Images

Today action starts at 4pm with the Group F game between Sweden and South Korea at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in the western Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod.

Three hours later, Belgium's golden generation - titles favourites this year - will kick off their campaign at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi where they will meet fellow Group G side Panama.

And finally who can ignore the fact England are playing? Gareth Southgate's team will take on yet another North African team competing at the World Cup - Tunisia - in their Group G game at the Volgograd Arena, Volgograd.

Belgium's Kevin de Bruyne, Thomas Meunier, Eden Hazard and Michy Batshuayi stretch during a training session at the Olympic Park Arena in Sochi. Nelson Almeida / AFP
Belgium's Kevin de Bruyne, Thomas Meunier, Eden Hazard and Michy Batshuayi stretch during a training session at the Olympic Park Arena in Sochi. Nelson Almeida / AFP

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