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Japan Edge Senegal By Virtue Of Avoiding Yellow Fever

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Yerry Mina’s second-half header sent Colombia into a potential last-16 tie with England at the World Cup as Senegal lost out to Japan having received more yellow cards.

Senegal pushed for an equaliser which would have sent the African side through – Aliou Cisse’s side were level with Japan in terms of points and goal difference, but crucially not yellow cards.

Colombia had to win to be sure of their progress but with Poland beating Japan 1-0 in Volgograd, African representation at the World Cup was ended as Senegal failed to secure the point they needed.

The South Americans will face the runners-up from Group G, which will be either England or Belgium, in Moscow on Tuesday, while Japan await the winners in Rostov-on-Don on Monday.

Colombia coach Jose Pekerman:

“There is no magic formula to football and one single answer to why one team beats another. I think we worked the set piece [which led to the goal] very well and that was not a coincidence as we have players who are excellent with their feet and with their head. But there were also some very worrying moments, especially in the first half, when Senegal played very well and it was tough for us to maintain our identity. We managed to defend successfully though, and they didn’t create many goalscoring opportunities.

“The match was tough because we couldn’t get the necessary control in central midfield to enable us to feed the right kind of balls to Falcao. This was a very even group and you see that with Senegal, who had a very good tournament, going home. There was a lot of tension in the air today and, in that regard, I think my team did very well.”

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse:

“I am very proud of my team today and I’m proud of their work. But Senegal have not qualified because we did not deserve to qualify. Such is life. Fair Play points are one of the rules and these rules have been established in the tournament regulations; we have to respect that. We would have preferred to be eliminated in another way but that’s the way it works and we knew that those were the regulations.

“I feel we could have scored in the first half and I think we controlled the match quite well. I’m just disappointed for my team, for this generation and for these players who fight every single day for our country. I will continue to encourage them and to be with them because I think we can expect many more good things from them in the future.”

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