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James Rodriguez leaves match against Senegal injured

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James Rodriguez was forced to leave Colombia’s decisive match against Senegal after only half an hour. He appears to have aggravated a calf injury.

Senegal v Colombia: Group H - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
James leaves the pitch dejected, June 28, 2018.
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

James Rodriguez was substituted after only half an hour in Colombia’s crucial match against Senegal today. He appears to have aggravated the same calf injury that plagued him throughout Colombia’s World Cup preparations and which also forced him to miss most of Colombia’s opening match against Japan — which they lost 2-1.

James returned to the starting lineup and put in a brilliant performance against Robert Lewandowski’s Poland, helping Colombia to a 3-0 victory in which he contributed two assists. Unless Colombia can defeat Senegal, they will be eliminated from the World Cup with Poland at the bottom of Group H.

It is a sad sequel to James’s breakout World Cup in 2014. By cruel coincidence, it was on this day four years ago that James scored one of the most spectacular goals of the tournament, a marvelous chest-trap-and-volley from long range against Uruguay.

James is the latest player to struggle in what has been a brutal tournament for Bayern Munich’s players.