World Cup Group H match report Japan v Poland 28 June 2018

Yuya Osako Japan 2018 World Cup

Yuya Osako Japan 2018 World Cup

Japan had four yellow cards in its three group matches while Senegal had six.

The last round of Group stage matches will see Japan facing off against a Polish side who are yet to earn a single point in this tournament.

Japan have progressed through to the last 16 of the World Cup, despite losing to Poland in Thursday's World Cup clash in Volgograd.

Japan, of course, will be toasting the system, and they were more than happy to exploit it on field after learning of Yerry Mina's second-half victor for Colombia in the Senegal match, which set up the "fair play" tiebreaker. "We're facing Japan, we've got to be ready for it".

As the game continued, it barely got above walking pace.

Gary Lineker, analysing the highlights of the match following Colombia's win over Senegal, echoed the sentiments of most football fans by saying: "This surely goes against what the game stands for".

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

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Unlikely to concede at the back, they also have a forward line that is the envy of nearly every other nation at the World Cup. It also put host Russian Federation into the next round while eliminating both Saudi Arabia and Egypt at the same time .

Japan were creating opportunities on set-plays for most of the half, but the Poles' aerial strength was too much for the Japanese.

Poland had to wait until the 32nd minute for a chance as Bartosz Bereszynski picked out Kamil Grosicki, who met the cross with a header that was palmed away by goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima.

Then, with nine minutes remaining, Tomoaki Makino - in an attempt to intercept another unsafe cross by Grosicki - could only send the ball towards his own goal but Kawashima reacted well to make the save.

Their main man, striker Robert Lewandowski, powered in 16 goals during the qualifiers - but failed to score a single one in Russian Federation, ending his miserable tournament with another spurned chance against Japan. "Do not go for any high risks.' I told him not to concede any yellow cards, go 4-1-4-1, defensive, and then I told him to tell the team to 'stay put".

Smith defended the rule as preferable to drawing lots to determine who qualifies, although "the preference is that slots and teams advancing is on the basis of goals and results and there's clear winners. the fair play criteria is an additional criteria and it's very clear". "You have to be in contact with other players when you play football. It worked against us".

Japan will meet either Belgium or England after reaching the knockout stage for the third time in their history.

Poland coach Adam Nawalka said his team proved they were not quitters by winning their first game at a World Cup since they beat Costa Rica in Germany in 2006.

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