Senegal vs. Colombia - Football Match Preview

Kaluga ahead of their 2018 World Cup match against Colombia

Colombia secure their passage to the last 16 of the World Cup with a 1-0 victory over Senegal, who miss out on qualification to Japan on the fair-play rule. Senegal became the first team ever eliminated by a new tiebreaker - number of yellow cards.

Senegal and Colombia have faced each other just once before, in a friendly in May 2014, with Colombia taking a 2-0 lead into half-time, only to concede two goals in the second half. Senegal exit having received six yellow cards to Japan's four.

Senegal's competitive edge increased despite the setback, Keita Balde and Ismaila Sarr taking aim as Mane's pace repeatedly threatened, and a second-best Colombia were then dealt an injury blow when Rodriguez was forced off (30), thumping the turf as he made way for Luis Muriel.

Colombia and Japan go on to face opponents from Group G - either England or Belgium, who play later Thursday.

Japan and Senegal are in the box seat, both on four points going into today's encounters.

The likes of Falcao and Juan Cuadrado underlined the quality in a team that welcomed back James Rodriguez, top scorer at the last World Cup, to a leading role after starting him from the bench against Japan. Colombia desperately need that version of the Bayern Munich man to have any chance in the knockout stages.

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.

Upon learning of the goal in Volgograd, Colombia adopted a more defensive approach and were content to try to pinch a goal from a set piece, with Radamel Falcao squandering a decent chance on 66 minutes when he headed wide after running across his marker.

However, after consultation with the video assistant referee, referee Milorad Mazic deemed Sanchez to have touched the ball and the decision was reversed.

Jan Bednarek's 59th minute goal was all that Poland needed to overcome Japan 1-0 in one of Group H.

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

Rodriguez hasn't been at 100 per cent at any point in the tournament, but in the win over Poland, he was healthy enough to shine.

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