Five talking points from Day 11 of the World Cup

From Sterling's disappointing run to Falcao's first-ever World Cup goal, here are the five talking points from the day 11 of the World Cup.

Colombia's Radamel Falcao

Radamel Falcao scored his first World Cup goal against Poland.   -  AFP

Should Sterling move wide?

Is England getting the best out of Raheem Sterling? The Manchester City winger is preferred as a strike partner to Harry Kane in Gareth Southgate's 3-5-2 formation which has not seen him influence the game as he would have liked.

Sterling cuts a frustrated figure during the match against Panama.   -  Getty IMages

 

Sterling is coming off a Premier League title-winning campaign where he scored 18 and assisted 11 from the wide area. Whereas, the 23-year-old is yet to hit the ground running for the Three Lions in his 41-match international career.

Despite England's winning start to the World Cup, Sterling has struggled to make an impact in the front role. He is often seen dropping in midfield against sides that defend deep.

Lewandowski's barren World Cup

A striker of Robert Lewandowski's pedigree looked deflated and uninspired during Poland's heavy 3-0 defeat to Colombia, which knocked the European side out of the tournament. It appeared that in the first half of the match, Lewandowski was tasked with being provider to his side rather than a finisher. But every time he was on the ball, the Colombians were swift to disposes him off it.

Lewandowski is yet to score a goal in this World Cup.   -  Getty IMages

 

Only in the second half, the Bayern Munich attacker was moved to his preferred role but the match had swayed in favour of the South American rival with its first half lead. Lewandowski could only effect two shots on goal. In taking Poland to the World Cup finals, Lewandowski scored 16 goals in the qualifiers, the most in Europe.

Japan and Senegal - Best hopes from Asia and Africa?

Both teams came into the match on the back of wins over Colombia and Poland in Group H. And after its 2-2 draw, one could make an argument that they are the best their respective continents have to offer in the ongoing tournament.  

Japan and Senegal played out a 2-2 draw   -  Getty Images

 

Both sides also have quality players in Sadio Mane and Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal), and Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa (Japan). After Thursday, one or both these sides will have an opportunity to make it to the round-of-16.

Bans looming over Xhaka and Shaqiri

FIFA confirmed on Sunday that it had opened a disciplinary hearing into the celebratory gestures made by Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka in Switzerland's win over Serbia.

Shaqiri's controversial goal celebration against Serbia.   -  Getty Images

 

The celebration in question saw the two players of Kosovar heritage hold their hands together in what looked like a two-headed eagle, resembling the one from the Albanian flag.

If FIFA finds the duo guilty, any possible punishment in the form a ban could come to derail Switzerland's progress in the marquee event. 

Falcao's moment arrives

In the prime of his career, Radamel Falcao suffered the disappointment of missing the 2014 World Cup due to an ACL injury. Once hailed by major European clubs for his goal-scoring prowess, Falcao's fame appeared to be in the wane.

After his ill-fated loan spells at Manchester United and Chelsea, and recurring injuries, the Colombian seemed to regain his form at Ligue 1 side AS Monaco. At 32, Falcao found his 'moment of glory' when he scored his maiden World Cup goal in the 3-0 win over Poland.