- Jan Bednarek’s 59th minute goal was all that Poland needed to overcome Japan 1-0
- The encounter which saw Zambia’s Janny Sikazwe as the centre referee
- But the Asian side progressed to the knockout rounds with fair play rating
Jan Bednarek’s 59th minute goal was all that Poland needed to overcome Japan 1-0 in one of Group H last fixtures on Tuesday, but the result could not stop the Asians from reaching the Last 16 round at the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The encounter which saw Zambia’s Janny Sikazwe as the centre referee, took place at Volgograd Arena, saw Japan’s Samurai Blue, requiring a draw to reach the knockout phase of the World Cup.
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Luckily, the Asian side despite going down 0-1 to Japan, still progressed to the Last 16 rounds ahead of Senegal as the Japanese had a superior fair-play record.
The Japanese played out goalless draw at halftime and were looking like they were heading for the exit doors.
In fact Japan were looking like going out alongside Poland, after the Polish side claimed all three points with Bednarek’s goal.
However, with Fair Play Rule in play, Japan became the first team to qualify from the World Cup group stages via fair play rankings despite a 1-0 defeat with head coach Akira Nishino making six changes to an Asian side.
The Samurai Blue had defeated Colombia and drawn with Senegal to enter their final Group H match, against already-eliminated Poland, requiring only a point to reach the last 16.
But the Asians scarcely threatened as the duo of Shinji Kagawa and Takashi Inui started on the bench.
At the end of the group matches, Senegal with six yellow cards to Japan's four ultimately lost out and will be disappointed heading home under the circumstance.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously had reported that Senegal have crashed out of the World Cup after suffering a 1-0 defeat against Colombia in Group H.
Barcelona's Yerry Mina's goal in the 74th minute was the difference as the South American finished top of the group. Mina rose highest in the box to power home his header pass Ndiaye in goal for Senegal.
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