Japan squeeze into last 16 on disciplinary rule

30 June, 2018, 21:02 | Author: Amy Huff
  • Yuya Osako Japan 2018 World Cup

The second match saw the never give up attitude of the Japanese team as they twice clawed back from a goal down in each half to finish the match 2-2 against an impressive Senegalese side.

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

Senegal had more yellow cards, so Japan was happy to kick the ball around against Poland and let time expire because it meant they would advance to the knockout stage.

Japan created two chances in the space of 60 seconds with Shinji Okazaki heading wide at the near post and Yoshinori Muto seeing a low shot from 20 yards well dealt with by Lukasz Fabianski.

A draw against Poland will guarantee the Samurai Blue qualification from the group stage, while depending on other results, even defeat at the Volgograd Arena could grant the Japanese a spot in the Round of 16.

Poland boss Adam Nawalka said his players proved a point by coming out to win despite defeats to Colombia and Senegal having already seen them exit the competition.

Japan's time-wasting tactics at the World Cup have been widely condemned.

"It was an ultimate decision for me to make". They also played to a 2-2 draw on Sunday.

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Senegal's six yellow cards to Japan's four ultimately cost the African side, which exits Russian Federation in disappointing circumstances.

Poland responded by creating their only significant chance of the first half with Kamil Grosicki seeing an excellent header clawed away from the bottom corner by Eiji Kawashima.

Nishino made six changes to the starting lineup ahead of the match, saying some of his players were worn out.

"It was for us more important for us to get into the next round than to win the match, " Japan midfielder Gotoku Sakai said. Scampering across his goal before diving, Kawashima clawed the ball to safety just before it had crossed the line.

Their main man, striker Robert Lewandowski, powered in 16 goals during the qualifiers - but failed to score in Russian Federation, ending his miserable tournament with another spurned chance against Japan.

Japan will go on to face the victor of the Belgium v England match in the Round of 16.

In their only previous meeting with an Asian team in the World Cup, Poland lost 2-0 against South Korea in 2002. Senegal became the first team ever eliminated by a new tiebreaker - number of yellow cards.

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