James Rodriguez injury concerns Colombia coach Jose Pekerman

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Colombia coach Jose Pekerman said he was “concerned” over midfielder James Rodriguez after he injured himself in the 1-0 win over Senegal that helped them qualify for the knockout stage of the World Cup.

The Bayern Munich star was instrumental in leading Colombia to a 3-0 win over Poland, after just playing a cameo role in the 2-1 defeat to Japan.

In Samara on Thursday, however, James sustained a blow inside 31 minutes that meant Pekerman had to take him off, while also losing one of his key players.

A goal from Barcelona defender Yerry Mina proved to be enough for the Colombians though as Senegal were ousted from the tournament.

But Rodriguez could be an absentee when Colombia take on England in the last 16 phase.

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“I’m extremely concerned, it’s a very tough situation for my team,” said Argentine Pekerman.

“I didn’t want to talk about this in a conference, because it risks overshadowing everything else that’s happened.

“But I can say it’s not a comfortable situation for us. At the moment we don’t have information, I can’t confirm or deny.

“He trained normally until yesterday as always, he stayed on afterwards to practise free-kicks and penalties as he does.

“He was fully fit… but right now I don’t know where he stands. We do hope we’ll hear good news once he’s gone for his check-up.”

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Paulinho and Thiago Silva net in comfortable Brazil win v Serbia to ensure World Cup knockout berth

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Pre-tournament favourites Brazil eased into World Cup 2018’s round of 16 as goals in each half from Paulinho and Thiago Silva confirmed Serbia’s elimination with a 2-0 defeat.

Tite’s men had underwhelmed in the opening Group E-draw with Switzerland and late victory against Costa Rica, meaning they needed to avoid defeat to guarantee progression. These worries dissipated in the 36th minute when Paulinho latched onto fellow midfielder Philippe Coutinho’s deft pass and lobbed over advancing Serbia goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic.

Serbia threatened near the hour mark, but their quest was definitively ended when centre-back Silva powerfully headed in the improved Neymar’s corner.

The record-five-time winners topped their section and will now meet Group F-runners-up Mexico.

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Sweden storm their way into the World Cup 2018 knockouts and defeated Mexico just follow them

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Rank outsiders Sweden stormed into World Cup 2018’s round of 16 thanks to a 3-0 win against Mexico, from which El Tri just scraped through.

The Scandinavians 95th-minute loss to Germany on Saturday made them unlikely qualifiers at Ekaterinburg Arena. Especially as Wednesday’s opponents had won both their previous Group F-fixtures – and in some style.

But after a goalless first half, Janne Andersson’s men burst into life. Full-back Ludwig Augustinsson lashed in on 50 minutes, skipper Andreas Granqvist converted his second penalty of the tournament and defender Edson Alvarez produced a clumsy own goal.

This result sent Sweden into ecstasy as table toppers and left Mexico requiring an upset from South Korea against the holders, which the Taeguk Warriors duly ensured with an incredible late triumph in Kazan.

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