Japan milk 'fair play' system in World Cup first

Japan topped the group going into the final round of games, needing just a point to be assured of a place in the knockout stage for only the second time since 2002, when they were co-hosts.

England managed only two shots on goal and earned just 47 percent of possession. We are football players, we have the whole Senegalese people and the African continent behind us.

With two fewer yellow cards, Japan's tally of minus-four points was two better than Senegal, who may feel aggrieved at being sent home for a reason other than the quality of their football.

"It didn't work out for us at the World Cup, but we're finishing it on a positive note and we're optimistic about the future", the 22-year-old told Polish TV. The second-place team would have to face Colombia, a tough opponent, but would get the victor of Switzerland and Sweden in the quarters.

Poland finished bottom of the group on three points.

Japan accumulated four yellow cards during the three group games, while Senegal accumulated six yellow cards.

Here's the goal, a thundering header by Yerry Mina in the 74th minute, that won Group H for Colombia.

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Colombia coach Jose Pekerman said he was "extremely concerned" for James Rodriguez after he limped off during their win over Senegal.

Japan and Senegal broke new ground on Thursday as FIFA's fair play rankings were used to decide a World Cup group for the first time.

England and Belgium made a combined 17 changes to their starting elevens, a record for a World Cup game.

The group stage matches are all done, and we are left with 16 teams, in the battle for the 2018 World Cup.

Poland's Jan Bednarek scored the only goal of the match in the 59th minute. Japan go through after a blank second half, where Poland scored against the run of play. He was the Whoscored.com Man of the Match with an 8.45 rating.

However, it's Akira Nishino's side who will play the winners of England's group in Rostov-on-Don on July 2 due to their superior fair play record.

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