Japan make last 16 on disciplinary rule despite Poland loss

1:22                                            Get the latest news from day 14 of the World Cup in Russia including an update on the health of Diego Maradona

"I'm not too happy about this, but I told my players to do what I said", explained Nishino, adding that "these things happen in a World Cup".

"But life goes on and the match tomorrow will be of great significance, particularly from a mental point of view because we need to demonstrate that we never give up as a team". "We did not go for victory, but we just relied on the other match".

They will be favorites against Poland, who have lost their two matches and have no chance of reaching the last 16.

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. They also played to a draw at 2 on Sunday.

While the Samurai Blue lost, the tiebreaker between them and Senegal went down to fair play points.

A cacophony of boos rang out as hardly any tackles were made in the last 10 minutes as Poland decided any sort of win would be enough and Japan decided not to risk any yellow cards.

The match was often lethargic anyway in the 36 deg C heat, but the stupor was broken in the 59th minute when Poland's Rafal Kurzawa floated a free-kick to the far post and an unmarked Jan Bednarek scored from close range.

When Bednarek scored, Japan were facing elimination.

Carlos Sanchez is back in the lineup for Colombia after sitting out a match for a red card he got three minutes into Colombia's tournament-opening loss to Japan.

As the game continued, it barely got above walking pace.

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"There may be some issues with the conditions, but we will aim to keep hold of the ball as much as possible and continue with Japan-like football".

The final whistle brought an end to a freaky afternoon which began with Japan coach Akira Nishino making six changes despite knowing his side's qualification was far from certain.

Poland immediately countered and once again gave the Japanese cause for concern with Kamil Grosicki crossing from the right and Kawashima just reaching the ball before the lurking Piotr Zielinski.

Robert Lewandowski then had a chance to put Poland ahead 2-0 - a result that would have allowed Senegal to advance - in the 74th minute after a swift counterattack but his effort flew over the bar.

Poland have finished bottom of the group in a World Cup for the first time since 2002.

GOAL - TUNISIA - 1-1 - Really well worked equalizer.

"What if we conceded another goal and it was 0-2?" he said.

M: Tunisia well in control of this game now, and they'll be targeting that first World Cup win since 1978 in Argentina!

As the news filtered through to the Volgograd Arena, both teams were content to sit back. Belgium appeared to be a reluctant victor.

Colombia know a win in Samara will see them progress to the last 16.

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