Senegal’s World Cup campaign came to an end in cruel fashion on Thursday as they fell to a 1-0 defeat to Colombia in Samara.
Aliou Cisse’s side started the day in one of the two knockout spots, and started the brighter of the two sides as they looked to top the group, but Yerry Mina’s late winner consigned them to their first (and, ultimately, last) defeat of these finals.
With Japan losing 1-o to Poland in the group’s other game, it left Japan and Senegal both on four points in the group, with nothing to separate them either in terms of goal difference or goals scored. Therefore, it was down to the teams’ fair play record to determine who qualified for the next round – a state of affairs that has seen Japan into the knockout stage by the skin of their teeth, as they have picked up four yellow cards compared to Senegal’s six.
It is the first time that a team has qualified from a World Cup group stage by these means, and it also means that there will be no African side in the knockout stage for the first time since 1982.
— FIFA World Cup ? (@FIFAWorldCup) June 28, 2018
Colombia, who had to contend with the loss of talisman James Rodriguez before half time, bounced back from their opening day defeat to Japan to top the group with six points. Jose Pekerman’s side will now face the losers of England’s clash with Belgium in the last 16.
Japan, meanwhile, will face the winners of that same encounter as they celebrate emerging from the group stage for the first time since 2002.
Senegal look devastated. So cruel to go out on disciplinary record alone. Congrats to Japan though. No African team is able to make the knockout stage of the #WorldCup, just Japan from Asia. #COL #JPN #SEN
— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) June 28, 2018
Knocked out on yellow cards. Cruel on Senegal. Farcical end to Japan v Poland as Poland backed off and Japan completed about 600 sideways passes playing out time.
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) June 28, 2018