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Pekerman confident Colombia will progress

Colombia v Japan: Group H - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
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Jose Pekerman is confident that Colombia can beat Senegal and secure a place in the last 16 of the World Cup ahead of their Group H finale

Only a win today will be sufficient for Los Cafeteros to progress to the next round with a point seperating themselves from opponents Senegal and Group H leaders Japan.

After a disappointing first game against the Samurai Blue, Colombia bounced back with a strong 3-0 win over Poland to resurrect their qualification hopes for the knockout stages and Pekerman is now feeling optimistic about their prospects.

“It’s an absolutely decisive match and only victory will guarantee that we move on to the round of 16,” said Pekerman, according to BT Sport.

“Our morale is high and I think we need to be optimistic, especially if we look at what happened in the last match.

“Senegal have great players – they practically all play in Europe, so they are used to playing in England, France, in the Spanish league and so forth, so these are players who know how to work in this sort of match.

“They have been successful both against Poland and against Japan. We hope that dynamic is going to change.”

Colombia have received a boost for the game with goalkeeper David Ospina set to be available following a knock against Poland, but they must be careful with both James Rodriguez and Wilmar Barrios who are just a booking away from suspension.