Japan advances despite loss to Poland at World Cup

With six yellow cards in three group games, Senegal were eliminated because Japan had only been issued four, leaving Africa without a representative in the last 16.

However, it's Akira Nishino's side who will play the winners of England's group in Rostov-on-Don on July 2 due to their superior fair play record.

With so much at stake for each team and simultaneous matches of Japan vs. Poland and Colombia vs. Senegal on Thursday, Group H looks set to provide a thrilling finale to the group stage of the tournament.

"We haven't qualified because of fair play".

Japan, with 10 minutes to play of their final group game against Poland, appeared to have been made aware of the situation, after Yerry Mina headed Colombia ahead against Senegal. "We have fewer points in fair play and Senegal doesn't qualify because we don't deserve it", Cisse said after the game.

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Senegal needed a draw to advance to the last 16. Yep, Senegal have been eliminated because they picked up more yellow cards that the Japanese.

"It's the rules of the game, they've been established by Federation Internationale de Football Association and we have to respect it, even though we would have liked to have been eliminated another way", he said.

"I don't know whether this regulation is cruel but there was no way I could ask my players to try and avoid yellow cards".

"African football is making a lot of progress, and we are going to continue in this line and I am sure we will do good things in the future", he said. "There is not much difference between the top teams and the others".

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