Crunch World Cup clashes for Saints pair

By SFC Media time Sun 24 Jun International
Photo by Getty Images | Maya Yoshida

Maya Yoshida and Jan Bednarek return to World Cup action in Russia today with their respective qualification hopes hanging in the balance.

Of the pair, Yoshida’s Japan currently occupy the driving seat to reach the last 16 after the Samurai Blue’s battling 2-1 win over Colombia put them top of Group H alongside Senegal who surprised Bednarek’s Poland by the same score-line.

Those two results have set up an intriguing and potentially decisive encounter at the at 4pm this afternoon as the two group leaders face off at the Ekaterinburg Arena.

Yoshida was instrumental in helping his team over the line in Saransk five days ago and a repeat performance could put Maya’s side to within touching distance of the knockout stages for just the third time in their history.

Attentions will then turn to Kazan at 7pm where the loser between Poland and Colombia faces a premature exit from the finals.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JUNE 19:  Wojciech Szczesny of Poland fails to tackle Mbaye Niang of Senegal, who goes on to score his sides second goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group H match between Poland and Senegal at Spartak Stadium on June 19, 2018 in Moscow, Russia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Saints’ Bednarek was a second-half substitute as part of a switch to a three-man defence last time out and will be hopeful of retaining his place in the Polish line-up.

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