World Cup 2018 diary: England recuperates while Bosnich and Lazaridis bake in Samara

On day six of Russia 2018, England recovered from its win over Tunisia while Aussie fans baked in the Samara heat during a friendly game.

The Aussie fans baked in the Samara heat during a friendly game.   -  Getty Images

The sixth day of Russia 2018 saw the first round of group matches completed, as Japan, Colombia, Senegal and Poland belatedly joined the party.

Carlos Sanchez's third-minute red card – the second-quickest in World Cup history – undermined Colombia's effort as the Blue Samurai prevailed 2-1, before Senegal held off Poland's fightback to win by the same scoreline in Group H's other fixture.

But enough about what happened on the pitch. What was happening around Russia away from the action?

Look no further...

 

HOW'S YOUR TOUCH, GAFFER?

England was back at its Repino base for a light training session, fresh from Harry Kane's last-gasp heroics against Tunisia. Well, fresh might be pushing it.

They only landed back from Volgograd at 6am local time and the starting line-up from Monday were excused from a light training session – Dele Alli missing out in order to have a scan on his sore thigh.

Some passing drills were needed to blow away the cobwebs and boss Gareth Southgate got right in the thick of things, providing lay-offs to Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Marcus Rashford and the rest in a tidy and economical fashion – much like in his playing days.

 

MUSLERA CRUSHING ON CAVANI

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez was joined by his goalkeeper Fernando Muslera at a news conference on Tuesday to preview the match against Saudi Arabia in Rostov-on-Don.

Tabarez spoke about Luis Suarez at length on the eve of the forward's 100th international appearance, so it was left to Muslera to praise the Celeste's other star striker, and he did not sell his team-mate short.

"We could spend the whole afternoon talking about Cavani, he's a brilliant player, totally committed and devoted, that defines him and what he's achieved at club level and for the national team," Muslera said.

"He's fundamental to us. I love him as a player and I'm so glad he was born in Uruguay."

Too cute! Let's hope 'Edi' repays the shot-stopper's charming faith in the Group A clash at Rostov Arena.

 

BOSNICH AND LAZARIDIS ROLL BACK THE YEARS

There were a couple of ex-Premier League players in attendance as a group of Australia supporters took part in a friendly game at a small ground close to Samara's centre.

On a baking hot day, Mark Bosnich and Stan Lazaridis featured as the Aussies' 'fanatics' took on a team comprising of local government officials and ex-Krylia Sovetov players.

Both men spoke to Omnisport and were in good form, although they, like everyone else, were suffering in the roasting conditions.

So spare a thought for the pre-match and half-time cheerleaders, who put in an enthusiastic display despite there being no escape from the fierce sun.

 

CSKA'S SPORTING HERITAGE

Take a trip out to the north east of Moscow and you will likely wander into CSKA territory.

Just a few hundred yards from the new, imposing Dinamo Moscow stadium you will see the CSKA logo start to pop up everywhere.

Founded in 1901 and traditionally the team of the Soviet Army, CSKA have continued to grow and are now active in 40 sports as well as having specific buildings for gymnastics, ice skating, combat sports, basketball and football.

It has produced a remarkable 463 Olympic champions including Adelina Sotnikova, Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov as well as Elena Vesnina, a three-time grand slam doubles champion at tennis.

 

FORGET UNCLE VANYA – UNCLE CHERYSHEV IS BECOMING RUSSIAN HERITAGE

Even among the most ardent Russia fans, the 5-0 opening win over Saudi Arabia seemed like a pleasant dream. When they romped to a 3-1 victory over Mohamed Salah and Egypt in their second Group A match, it felt like the sort of departure from realism that would have left Konstantin Stanislavski wincing.

Such is the growing popularity of Denis Cheryshev, who scored his second goal of the tournament against Egypt, it seems everyone in Russia wants to be associated with the former Real Madrid winger in some way. Well, Omnisport (apparently) found one of those people.

During a visit to the FIFA Fan Fest at the Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin, we bumped into a man who proclaimed himself to be Cheryshev's uncle, who had the social media posts to prove it. But before we could delve any deeper, he was whisking the youngsters in his care away for a day at the beach.

Whether or not he was telling the truth, it is easy to see how all of Russia has united into one football family to get behind Stanislav Cherchesov's unlikely heroes.

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