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And Japanese players played a dummy passing game among themselves in the last few minutes, as Poland decided didn't want the ball either. But Colombia held on, and Japan made it through. "I had developed a bit of a soft spot for Japan, but I hope they get battered in the next round".

"I'm at the disposal of the Polish FA and I will make a detailed report about the World Cup", he added.

"I chose to keep the status quo in our game, and rely instead on the other result".

That meant Senegal was out and Japan was in after they both finished even on points, goal difference, goals scored and head-to-head in Group H. It very almost happened again in Group G, until Adnan Januzaj gave Belgium its lead over England. They also played to a 2-2 draw on Sunday.

"Fair Play points are one of the rules and these rules have been established in the tournament regulations; we have to respect that, " said Senegal coach Aliou Cisse after the match.

After a win over 10-man Colombia and the draw against Senegal, Japan had done just enough to become the only Asian side in the knockout rounds.

Poland's Jan Bednarek scored the only goal of the match in the 59th minute.

In their opening World Cup group game, Senegal beat Poland 2-1 in Moscow.

Why? Because the closing stages of the match were played at walking pace.

Over in Volgograd, Japan, despite being one goal down, knew they were heading through on fair play and were more than happy to gamble on it remaining so for the remaining 15 minutes of their match.

Japan will now face either England or Belgium in the last-16. England won 1-0 thanks to a David Platt's goal the second time the two sides met and that took place in the 1990 World Cup.

"What if we conceded another goal and it was 0-2?" he said. "We have to pull together and get our hands dirty".

Japan found a new way to progress to the Round of 16 at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, becoming the first team ever to progress from the group stage via the fair-play-points tiebreaker. But Senegal have not qualified because we did not deserve to qualify.

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