The first round of group matches will end on Tuesday (June 19) when the Group H teams face off. In the first match of Group H South America's Colombia will take on Japan, the fourth team from Asia at the Mordovia Arena, Saransk at 5:30 pm Indian Standard Time (IST).
Poland and Senegal will bring the first round to an end when they clash at Spartak Stadium, Moscow at 8:30 pm IST while the final match of the day involves hosts Russia who face Egypt in Group A at Saint Petersburg Stadium, Saint Petersburg at 11:30 pm IST.
Tuesday, 19 June
Colombia vs Japan (Group H)
Venue: Mordovia Arena, Saransk
Time: 5:30 pm
Poland vs Senegal (Group H)
Venue: Spartak Stadium, Moscow
Time: 8:30 pm
Russia vs Egypt (Group A)
Venue: Saint Petersburg Stadium, Saint Petersburg
Time: 11:30 pm
Colombia and Japan have clashed just once before with the former triumphing 4-1 in a Group C match in the last FIFA World Cup in 2014 in Brazil. The 2014 edition was Colombia's first after they failed to qualify for the 1998, 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups. In Brazil, the lost their quarterfinal, which they had reached for the first time, to hosts Brazil 1-2. Coached by Argentina's Jose Pekerman, Colombia have they eyes set on bettering their record in the FIFA World Cup.
Japan made their mark in world football by qualifying for the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 1998 and in the next edition in 2002 which they co-hosted with South Korea, The Samurai Blue reached the Round of 16 (pre-quarterfinals). They emulated the same feat in the 2010 edition too.
Poland and Senegal have never played against each other before, and the match promises to be an entertaining one which will see European planning on one side and the African flair on the other side.
Russia had set the stage on fire with a superlative display of attacking football in their first match against Saudia Arabia. The hosts had demolished the Asian team 5-0 and are confident fo progressing to the next round. Egypt had lost narrowly to Uruguay 0-1 and they need to secure three points against Russia if they harbour any chance of going to the Round of 16. It is the first time the two teams are playing each other.