Japan vs Poland|19:30 Thusday|Volgograd Arena
Japan vs Poland
Japan must beat Poland to guarantee a place in the World Cup knockout stages.
A comeback draw against Senegal last time out leaves the Samurai Blue top of Group H, and will be wary of how
the African nation copes against Colombia regarding a first- or second-place finish.
Japan face Poland at Volgograd Arena, with kick-off scheduled for 3 pm BST.
Head to head
Japan has faced Poland twice before, winning both times. The first was a 5-0 win in 1996 before a 2-0 friendly win in 2002.
Goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima is set to keep his place for Japan’s last World Cup group match against Poland despite
an error in the previous game that gifted Senegal’s Sadio Mane the opening goal.
Sitting next to coach Akira Nishino at a news conference on the eve of the Group H game in Volgograd, Kawashima
spoke about his disappointment and that he was intent on making amends.
Nishino said after the 2-2 draw he would assess the goalkeeping situation after Kawashima punched a low shot
straight onto the knee of Mane, who was just in front of him.
Kawashima says he understood the criticism and that he was grateful to his team-mates for retrieving the
situation. He said: “This time. I would like to help them.”
Japan needs to avoid defeat in the match to progress to the round of 16.