FIFA World Cup 2018, Juan Quintero does the work, James Rodriguez gets the glory
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FIFA World Cup 2018, Juan Quintero does the work, James Rodriguez gets the glory

James Rodriguez put in a brilliant performance for Colombia against Poland, but Juan Quintero did a lot of wok that allowed the Bayern Munich star to shine.

football Updated: Jun 25, 2018 15:14 IST
Shijith P Kunhitty
Shijith P Kunhitty
Hindustan Times
FIFA World Cup 2018,World Cup 2018,World Cup Russia
Colombia head coach Jose Pekerman, left, talks to Colombia's Juan Quintero, right, during the group H match between Poland and Colombia at the 2018 soccer World Cup.(AP)

James Rodriguez may have gotten most of the praise after Colombia’s 3-0 win over Poland. He had two assists in the match, for the opening goal by Yerry Mina and the goal by Juan Cuadrado.

The Colombian is also one of the more well-known players on the world stage having won the Golden boot in the 2014 World Cup for the most goals.

But alongside Rodriguez in the Colombian team is lesser-known name in Juan Quintero, at least lesser known to people outside South America. Quintero, who is 25 years old and plays for the big Argentian club River Plate, actually had just as good a performance against Poland as his teammate Rodriguez.

We look at Quintero’s performance and Senegal’s penchant for attacking down its right wing in this data summary of Sunday’s World Cup matches.

a) Quintero just as good as teammate Rodriguez

Quintero actually spent 23 minutes less on the pitch than Rodriguez. He was substituted in the 73rd minute to bring a more defensive player on and consolidate the Colombian lead.

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But in the time that Quintero was on the pitch, he still managed to get more key passes , more passes forward and also delivered more balls into the final third than Rodriguez, who played the entire match (A key pass is a pass that leads to a shot on goal). He also managed to get one assist for the goal by Radamel Falcao.

The graphic shows how Juan Quintero positively affected the match for Colombia against Poland. (FIFA)

Colombia is one of the few teams in the tournament to play two playmakers in Quintero and Rodriguez in their starting eleven. And looking at how Colombia dominated Poland yesterday, this two playmaker plan seems to be working out for them.

b) Senegal very right-sided

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Senegal’s players on its right flank, its rightback Moussa Wague and its right-winger Ismaila Sarr caused havoc for Japan with their pace and non-stop raids. If we look at where Senegal’s attacks came from, 61% came down its right through these players. Just

39% of Senegal’s attacks came down the right in its previous match against Poland (see graphic).

The graphic shows from where Senegal attacked their opponents at the FIFA World Cup 2018. (FIFA)

Senegal’s second goal, in fact, was scored by Wague as he ran in from the right to meet a low cross. The team also owes a debt of gratitude to Wague for the first goal as it was his cross from the right that caused confusion in the Japanese penalty box, which the goalscorer Sadio Mane ultimately took advantage of.

Senegal will face Colombia in its next group match. Colombia is still in a bit of a pickle when it comes to qualifying for the knockout round. So if Colombia wants to have any chance of getting through, it would do well to figure out how to negate Senegal’s attacks down its right.

First Published: Jun 25, 2018 15:12 IST