Colombia and Japan qualify for last 16 as Senegal crashes out of World Cup on fair play rule

Story highlights

Colombia 1-0 Senegal

Poland 1-0 Japan

Japan and Colombia advance

CNN  — 

Senegal created a piece of unwanted history on Thursday, becoming the first team ever to be eliminated from the World Cup on the fair play rule.

With their game against Colombia looking destined for a draw and Poland beating Japan, Senegal were set to qualify for the last 16 as Group H winners.

But Yerry Mina’s late goal gave the South Americans victory and left Senegal and Japan level on points, goal difference and head-to-head.

It meant that, as the full time whistles blew in Samara and Volgograd, Senegal were eliminated due to having accumulated two more yellow cards than Japan.

Russia 2018 is the first World Cup in which fair play has been active after it was introduced to all FIFA competitions after Brazil four years ago.

Senegal had been the last remaining African side in the competition and the elimination of Aliou Cisse’s side means that there will be no team from the continent in the second round of a World Cup for the first time since 1982.

Group H was won by Colombia, whilst Japan progress despite losing 1-0 to bottom of the table Poland.

Yerry Mina celebrates his winning goal.

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Despite the onus being on Colombia to go out and get the win necessary to advance, the South Americans sat back and allowed Senegal to attack in numbers.

There were few early chances to speak of, though Senegal were by some distance the better of the two sides.

It was on one of the team’s early forays forward that the first opening came, as Davinson Sanchez brought down Liverpool forward Sadio Mane in the box.

Referee Milorad Mazic pointed to the spot, before being advised by the Video Assistant Referee to review his decision. Having watched the incident on the pitchside monitor, Mazic overturned his original call.

It was the right decision and rewarded Sanchez for his perfectly-timed tackle.