World Cup workers at the Ekaterinburg Arena may be able to put their feet up on Sunday as Japan and Senegal roll into town for their Group H meeting.
Both sides come into the clash high on confidence following 2-1 victories over Colombia and Poland respectively, meaning another success will all-but guarantee a spot in the second round.
And it was not just on the field that the two nations earned praise following their opening wins, as their supporters took the time to clean up the rubbish around them after the games in Saransk and Moscow, making life easier for the volunteers in those stadiums.
M'Baye Niang scored what proved to be a decisive second for Senegal against Poland in sneaky fashion, returning to the field following an injury just in time to capitalise on a mix-up between Grzegorz Krychowiak and Wojciech Szczesny to round the keeper and score.
After netting his first international goal, the forward was quick to turn his attention to a meeting with the Blue Samurai as Senegal look to reach the last 16 in only their second appearance at the finals.
"My benefit, of which you speak, is the work of a whole group," Niang said. "We must not give up and we must continue to work. Nothing is yet acquired, we must continue to work to achieve our goal.
"It's a good team. We are preparing and we will have time to study this team from Japan, which has qualities."
Japan were aided by a third-minute red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez in their opening fixture, and defender Yuto Nagatomo believes he and his team-mates must be wary of Senegal's threat on the counter.
"Their speed and physicality is something I expected, but what stood out was their discipline," he said. "They moved as a connected unit, with every piece interlocking.
"There is an impression sometimes that African teams, while having great individual talent, have a weakness when it comes to organisation, but there is little sign of that [with Senegal]. Everyone has a high awareness of defence and they are outstanding on the counter-attack."
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Japan - Shinji Kagawa
It was his goalbound effort that was handled by Sanchez for the second-fastest dismissal in World Cup history, and the Borussia Dortmund midfielder inflicted further punishment on Colombia by slotting the resulting penalty. Japan will look to him to be their creative force once more.
Senegal - Idrissa Gueye
Sadio Mane is the stand-out talent within this Senegal side, but Everton midfielder Gueye provides the protective shield from which a foundation can be built. He will have to be careful, though, as a yellow card against Poland means another on Sunday will rule him out of a potentially crucial final meeting with Colombia.
KEY OPTA FACTS
- No Asian nation has ever won both of their opening two games at a World Cup tournament.
- Japan have not won consecutive games at the World Cup since 2002, when they co-hosted the tournament with South Korea. On that occasion it was in their second and third game of the group stage (versus Russia and Tunisia).
- Senegal have conceded just five goals in their last nine matches in all competitions, with four of them coming in the second half of games.
- Only two African nations have ever won both of their opening two matches to a World Cup tournament – Cameroon in 1990 and Nigeria in 1998.
- Keisuke Honda has been directly involved in six of Japan's last eight goals scored at World Cup tournaments with three goals and three assists.
|It´ll be hard for Tuchel to get our players – Kovac expects Boateng stay|
|Fakhar Zaman fastest to 1,000 ODI runs|
|Neymar happy for World Cup winner Mbappe|
|I was born ready! - Bellew accepts Usyk challenge|
|Tuchel seeks Rabiot answers as Barca rumours persist|
|In-form Storm go top, Rampant Roosters thrash Manly|
|Bancroft discharged from hospital after taking blow to throat|
|MLS Review: Martinez breaks record as Atlanta march on|
|Brewers top Dodgers to snap seven-game losing streak|
|Munguia wins after 12-round marathon with Smith|
|Hart ready to leave City to revive career|
|Puel shuts down Schmeichel transfer speculation|
|Four-way tie at Barbasol Championship as Lincicombe misses cut|
|Lenglet happy not to face Messi|
|Tuchel keen to get PSG stars back after friendly defeat|
|Pulisic signing would interest Klopp|
|Whatever b******t you say, no one forgets – Klopp defends spending comments|
|Usyk outclasses Gassiev to make cruiserweight history|
|Pella books Cecchinato meeting in Umag, Ramanathan´s Newport run continues|
|Kisner expects nothing but exchange of ´horror stories´ with housemate Spieth|
|Inter new boy Lautaro Martinez denies Zenit in six-goal thriller|
|McIlroy eyeing early gains to apply scoreboard pressure|
|The Open 2018 diary: Spieth´s close shave|
|Salah is fully recovered and full of joy – Klopp|
|De Laurentiis accuses Sarri of trying to sign whole Napoli team|
|Lewis Hamilton explains German GP woes|
|O´Driscoll hails ´Test match animal´ Warburton|
|Spieth relishing prospect of Tiger tussle at Carnoustie|
|Sanches pushing for Bayern second chance - Kovac|
|Put on the Sunday red and enjoy Tiger´s ride regardless of Carnoustie outcome|
|Flawless Spieth takes share of Open lead after Tiger winds back the years|
|PSG´s Tuchel to be patient with World Cup stars Neymar, Mbappe & Cavani|
|Sanchez joins United tour in LA after visa issues|
|Catalans crush Salford to confirm Super League safety|
|Hamilton not giving up despite Hockenheim heartbreak|
|Spieth surges into Open Championship lead|
|Dumoulin is our biggest threat – Froome|
|Sane: Low gave me good reasons for World Cup snub|
|Tiger Woods in the hunt and loving it at The Open|
|Vettel delighted with German GP pole performance|
|Deschamps lauds intelligence of ´extraordinary´ Mbappe|
|Thomas maintains advantage as Fraile powers to stage victory|
|Woods sets clubhouse target, Kisner edges back in front|
|Bayern Munich 3 Paris Saint-Germain 1: Sanches strikes in ICC clash|
|Dost re-signs with Sporting CP after initially rescinding contract|
|Impressive Lions see off Jaguares to seal Waratahs semi|
|I´ll show Mourinho I´m ready, says United´s Pereira|
|Fognini sets up final clash with Gasquet|
|Injury ends Bouchard´s Swiss hopes, Sevastova through in Bucharest|
|That didn´t Work-u...race leader pulls up short of 3000metre finish|
|Prowling Tiger Woods on Open charge as Spieth joins leaders|
|Federer will struggle away from Wimbledon - Henman|
|Hamilton expecting tough Sunday at Hockenheim|
|Spalletti expects Icardi, Perisic to stay at Inter|
|Vettel smashes lap record to take Hockenheim pole after Hamilton woe|
|Warner targets Australia recall after Darwin debut|
|Rose: Open Sunday will be ´interesting´ after 64|
|Hamilton out of German GP qualifying as Mercedes falters|
|Pogba, Mbappe, Griezmann? Deschamps mulls Ballon d´Or contenders|
|Farah concussed on 250th Wests game as Tigers stun Souths|
|Waratahs overrun Highlanders in stunning second-half fightback|
|Rose scores record-equalling 64 to jump into Open contention|
|Moreno hails Liverpool´s recruitment drive as ´top, top players´ arrive|
|AC Milan elect new board with CEO Fassone out|
|Sri Lanka grind sorry South Africa into the Colombo dirt|
|Mina ready to reject offers for Barcelona stay|
|Guardiola tells Sane to use World Cup snub as motivation|
|Golovin´s ex-team-mate Chepchugov drops hint over Chelsea move|
|Reed & Rose make early charges on Carnoustie ´moving day´|
|Sancho ´had a point to prove´ in Dortmund´s win over Manchester City|