Monday, 23 July, 2018

How do Colombia qualify for last 16? Japan, Senegal

James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao- Colombia James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao were in fine form against Poland
Jennie Wade | 28 June, 2018, 19:56

Japan will face the victor of Group G on Monday.

Allowing a lead to twice slip from their grasp in their last World Cup game could come back to haunt Senegal when they face Colombia in a decisive Group H clash in Samara on Thursday.

Yerry Mina's header secured Colombia a 1-0 win over Senegal in Samara on Thursday (Jun 28) to clinch their safe passage to the last 16 as they finished top of Group H, while Senegal missed out to Japan on a fair play tiebreaker.

Senegal finished level with Japan on points in their group, missing out on the knockout stages due to having more bookings.

Colombia had it all to do to book a spot in the last 16, with Senegal only needing a point to advance. Yet the Asian side ended in second position having picked up four yellow cards to Senegal's six.

Defeat for Senegal eliminated them at the group stage in their first World Cup appearance since 2002, and left Africa without a representative in the knockout stages.

Sanchez thwarted Senegal's star man again on 26 minutes after Mane had skilfully turned away from Mina.

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Today Badou and Idrissa Gueye need to be far more diligent in their shielding and harrying work and Mane has to make better runs beyond the centre-forward, particularly if they go for a 4-3-3. However, after consultation with the video assistant referee (VAR), Colombian defender Davinson Sanchez was deemed to have touched the ball and the decision was reversed.

Colombia had got off to a poor start and suffered a blow early on when playmaker and talisman James Rodríguez was forced off injured.

Colombia's football association has said the players who faced Poland focused on "regenerative" work on Monday.

His exit did little, however, to revive the sluggish South Americans, who had been second best in nearly every department.

That's because Japan's goal difference is worse than Colombia's.

Yet Mina ensured Colombia were not made to pay when he headed home in the 74th minute.

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