Japan advances on yellow cards despite losing at World Cup

Senegal bowed out of the tournament despite having equal points with Japan.

Gareth Southgate's charges now sit at the top of the table ahead of Belgium based on having received less yellow cards.

The irony of the situation wasn't lost on many of those watching.

Since the two teams also played to a draw against each other, the deciding factor that sent Japan through and Senegal home was the number of yellow cards each team had based on the "fair play" tiebreaker.

After the game, Pekerman told reporters he was anxious about the condition of the 26-year-old, who spent last season on loan at Bayern Munich from Real Madrid, while also attempting to play down the situation given Colombia's qualification for the last 16.

Senegal were dumped out of the 2018 World Cup after a 1-0 defeat by Colombia saw them finish third in Group H, behind Japan.

If England and Belgium were to finish with the same number of fair play points, Federation Internationale de Football Association would draw lots to decide first place in the group.




However, inseparable on points, goal difference and goals scored, Japan's grasp on second-place in Group H came down to a marginally better disciplinary record than Senegal.

Poland finished bottom of the group on three points.

Poland, which had already been eliminated, got its goal from defender Jan Bednarek in the 59th minute.

Colombia beat Senegal 1-0 to put James Rodriguez and company through to the knockout round. None of the teams had a red card.

But, in failing to progress, Senegal may have ensured Ireland's all-time record of progressing to the knockout stage at each of the three World Cups they have reached, stays in place.

After the fair play rule, there was only one other way a tiebreaker could have been solved, which would have been the drawing of lots by FIFA Organizing Committee.

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