Senegal eliminated from the World Cup due to a controversial tiebreaker rule

Thibaut Courtois

After starting Russian Federation 2018 with five representatives from the continent, Tunisia, Egypt, Morroco, and Nigeria have all suffered elimination at the first round.

Nishino praised his players for doing what was needed to clinch qualification for the knockout stage despite going against the attacking philosophy they had established in Japan's earlier 2-1 win over Colombia and 2-2 draw with Senegal.

The 1-0 win for Roberto Martinez's much-changed team in Kaliningrad earns a second-round tie against Japan while England have a trickier-looking match against Colombia. The result lifts Colombia from third to first in the Group H standings.

"It's up to us to make them proud, to fly the flag for Senegal and Africa at this World Cup", said Koulibaly, 27.

The midfield, and especially Takashi Inui and Gaku Shibasaki (both based in Spain), looked solid and confidence grew in the Senegal game. The 26-year-old star has been battling a calf problem throughout the World Cup.

But the Japanese still had more of the chances in the first half. Colombia and Japan end up advancing, Senegal is out. The Lions' failure to capitalize on them ultimately led to their undoing in the second half.

He said his players were aware of the rules but he had refused to tell them to adapt their game accordingly. However, the South American nation was set to progress as group runners owing to better superior goal difference over Japan.

Senegal exits World Cup 2018 on fair-play heartbreak.

This is most likely only to come into play in two-team ties and even then is unlikely - but will be used if England and Belgium draw tonight.

Senegal will "have the whole continent behind them" when they look to become the only team from Africa to reach the World Cup knockout stage in Russian Federation, says defender Kalidou Koulibaly.

A 1-0 loss to Colombia saw Senegal finish level with Japan - on everything. Japan had acquired four, Senegal six, which elevated Japan to second place in Group H and eliminated Senegal from the tournament. We discuss fair play points and how potentially counting corners or shots on goal could work as a better indicator of who should move on.

There's now just five Liverpool players left in the World Cup - Roberto Firmino, Dejan Lovren, Simon Mignolet, Jordan Henderson and Alexander-Arnold. But they are out because they had two more yellow cards than Japan.

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