Senegal 1st team eliminated from World Cup on obscure tiebreaker

Senegal 1st team eliminated from World Cup on obscure tiebreaker

Senegal 1st team eliminated from World Cup on obscure tiebreaker

Colombia booked their place in the knock-out stages of the World Cup on Thursday with a hard-fought 1-0 win over eliminated Senegal in Samara.

Just one goal for Senegal would have done it, or had Poland beaten Japan 2-0, the African nation would have gone through.

However, Senegal became the first team in World Cup history to be eliminated on fair play, as they accrued more yellows (6-4) than their rivals for a last-16 berth.

Two slots in the round of 16 are up for grabs this afternoon and Senegal, Colombia and Japan will be vying for them.

Colombia, which played in the quarterfinals four years ago in Brazil, finished atop its group and is the fourth South American team to advance.

Despite James Rodriguez's injury - he left Thursday's game in the 31st minute - Colombia vaulted to the top of Group H with six points.

James Rodriguez, arguably the star of the team and victor of the best young player award of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, was taken off in the first half with a suspected injury, so we'll have to see how he progresses before playing Belgium or England in the next round.

Both Japan and Senegal had even goal differences and had scored four goals each, but Japan advanced as runners-up because they only picked up four yellow cards in the group stage, while Senegal had six.

Colombia didn't look the same after he went off, resorting to the pace of Juan Cuadrado out wide to make something happen.

But the atmosphere amongst the nearly 42,000 people at Samara Arena picked up near the hour mark when Poland scored to push both teams above Japan in the table. If FIFA had not added the fair play tiebreaker for this World Cup, the two teams would have had to draw lots to determine which would advance. Teammate Radamel Falcao patted him on the back sympathetically as he headed to the sideline.

Video review was used in the 18th minute when Colombia's Davinson Sanchez tackled charging forward Sadio Mane.

News of Jan Bednarek's goal for Poland gave a lift to fans of both Colombia and Senegal as the tension levels in Samara continued to rise.

Carlos Sanchez returned to the Colombia line-up after suspension.

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