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Published: Sat, June 30, 2018
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Japan advances on yellow cards despite losing at World Cup

Japan advances on yellow cards despite losing at World Cup

Not only did Senegal become the first team to be knocked out by the newly introduced method, their 1-0 loss to Colombia ended Africa's participation in the tournament. Since the head-to-head matchup finished 2-2, the tie was broken by FIFA Fair Play points, which measure a team's discipline over the three group-stage games.

Japan and Senegal were tied on all tiebreakers - points (four), goal differential (zero) and goals scored (four) - except "fair play points", based on yellow and red cards.

To justify this theory, the Colombian team was drawn with minnows in Japan, Senegal and Poland in Group H of 2018 World Cup.

Japan, knowing this outcome, opted not to attack in the closing stages and instead gambled on Senegal not scoring in Samara. Japan had four yellow cards in its three group matches while Senegal had six.

Yerry Mina. The Barcelona defender is now his country's top scorer at this World Cup with two goals.

The Colombian fans were well aware of what their team needed to assure a spot in the knockout round: A win. "But as I say, it's pity for us, it's a pity for our team".

Senegal kept trying to get a goal that would have sent it to the next round, but Colombia defended well.

Senegal had been the last remaining African side in the competition and the elimination of Aliou Cisse's side means that there will be no team from the continent in the second round of a World Cup for the first time since 1982.

And after playing two matches, the South Americans find themselves lying at the third spot in the table courtesy to a 3-0 victory over Poland. "We did not go through with victory, but we just relied on the other match and I feel that it was slightly regrettable but I suppose at that point I didn't have any other plans".

As a result, Poland were ranked eighth in the world ahead of the draw for the World Cup, and seeded for the group stages avoiding the likes of Germany and Brazil.

Colombia settled for their one-goal lead and, despite growing increasingly desperate and frantic in the closing minutes, Senegal could not force in an equaliser to keep them in the World Cup, their fair play record giving them an unwanted piece of history. He beat his marker at the far post and volleyed in a swerving free kick from Rafal Kurzawa.

Senegal had a first-half penalty ruled out following a VAR review, while Colombia's key man James Rodriguez was substituted before the break and could be a doubt for the knockout rounds.

Colombia will face the runner-up of Group G, which will be either England or Belgium. Senegal were, ultimately, victims of the narrow margins that decide games at the very highest level.

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