LFC at the World Cup: Second round of games sends some reds through

Sunday saw the completion of the second round of games in the World Cup, with generally positive fortunes for the reds.

With one group game remaining there are six teams who have already qualified for the last 16 which gets underway later this week.

EGYPT - GOING HOME
Lost 3-1 to Russia
Mohamed Salah - Played full game, scored a goal

After missing the unfortunate defeat against Uruguay, Mo Salah returned to the starting XI for his native Egypt.  But he didn't look 100% and his teammates were not helping out.

The hosts Russia sealed their qualification to the next round by beating Egypt in fairly comfortable fashion.  They were leading 3-0 before Salah fired in a penalty mid-way through the second half but it was too little too late and Egypt became the first team to be knocked out of the tournament.

CROATIA - QUALIFIED
Won 3-0 v Argentina
Dejan Lovren - Played full game

Dejan Lovren enjoyed another clean sheet in one of the more surprising results of the tournament as Croatia blew Argentina away.  There have been rumours of serious disharmony in the Argentinian dressing room, but Croatia ensured qualification with a game to spare with a comprehensive and fully deserved victory.

SERBIA - INVOLVED
Lost 2-1 v Switzerland
Marko Grujic - Did not play

Grujic watched on as his team-mates took the lead before being overtaken in the game by the Swiss.  Granit Xhaka scored the equaliser before an injury time winner from rumoured Liverpool target Xherdan Shaqiri gave the Swiss an important win to keep their World Cup hopes well and truly alive.

Serbia can still progress in a three way battle in the group.

BRAZIL - INVOLVED
Won 2-0 v Costa Rica
Roberto Firmino - Second half substitute (68th minute)

Brazil made heavy going against Costa Rica, and it was 0-0 when Firmino was introduced to replace Paulinho.  Coutinho and Neymar both scored though after the 90th minute to ease the pressure on the Brazil side.

BELGIUM - QUALIFIED
Won 5-2 v Tunisia
Simon Mignolet - Did not play

Belgium looked impressive as they hit five past Tunisia to ensure that they will be in the last 16 of the tournament.  Romelo Lukaku and Eden Hazard both scored twice.  With qualification ensured there is a slight chance that Mignolet may get an opportunity in the final game against England on Thursday with the Belgian coach expected to make sweeping changes to his line up.

The group winners will have just three full days before the knockout stage, whilst the runners up receive an extra day's break.

Henderson in England 6-1 win v Panama

ENGLAND - QUALIFIED
Won 6-1 v Panama
Jordan Henderson - Played full game
Trent Alexander Arnold - Did not play

It was England's biggest win at a tournament and the Three Lions were 5-0 up at half time.  Harry Kane scored a hat-trick of two penalties and a deflection off the back of his heel, but it was more than enough to take him to the leading goalscorer position for the World Cup.

England who have been downplaying expectations can now expect a significant increase in the level of competition as they first face Belgium before their last 16 opponents.

SENEGAL - INVOLVED
Drew 2-2 with Japan
Sadio Mane - Played full game (c) and scored opener

Senegal and Japan played out an exciting 2-2 draw that leaves them joint top of Group H - the group from which England's next opponents will arrive.

Sadio Mane opened the scoring for Senegal in the 11th minute when the keeper failed to clear and it rebounded into the net off the Liverpool man.  Japan equalised twice in the game and these two sides are now involved in a three way qualification battle with Colombia.

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