Senegal, the last African team of the World Cup played Colombia in the group where 3 teams could qualify.
A point for Senegal is enough for them to qualify while Colombia needed to win & Japan had to lose against Poland in the other fixture.
Senegal began the game strong with more possession and waves of attack but Colombia came close in the 12th minute with a free kick by Juan Quintero which forced the Senegalese goalkeeper Khadim N’Diaye to push the ball outbound.
Senegal was denied a penalty in the 16th minute after Davinson Sanchez’s tackle on Sadio Mane inside the box was deemed fair after a VAR analysis by the referee after initially giving a penalty.
The first half ended with Senegal controlling much of the game but had nothing to show while Colombia’s talisman James Rodriguez was forced off due to an existing calf injury in the 31st minute.
Colombia improved in the second half when Luis Muriel\s shot was blocked in the 65th minute.
Japan conceded in the 59th minute which meant if it stayed goalless and Japan lossed, Colombia would qualify ahead of Japan on goal difference with Senegal.
However, in the 74th minute from a corner kick, Yerry Mina’s header allowed Colombia to go in the lead and Senegal would be eliminated due to gaining 2 more yellow cards than Japan.
Senegal pushed for an equaliser in the 77th minute when M’Baye Niang’s shot was saved by Colombia’s goalkeeper David Ospina.
The game ended Senegal 0-1 Colombia, therefore, Colombia qualify as group winners while Japan in the second position due to having less yellow cards than Senegal.
The fair play was introduced in 2015 where if two teams have the same points, the same goal difference and equal head to head than the number of yellow cards and red cards will be used to determine who will qualify.
But if both teams have the same cards than lots will be used to randomly pick who will qualify.
Senegal is the first team to be eliminated based on this rule.
Colombia will play England in the last 16 with James Rodriguez possibly bench bound.
Source of Image: BBC