Everything you need to know about the World Cup’s fair play tiebreaker


All eyes will be on Senegal on Thursday afternoon, when they face high-flying Colombia.

Senegal have been eliminated from the World Cup in one of the harshest ways possible - and BBC commentator Mark Lawrenson is unimpressed.

Akira Nishino's side finished with the same number of points, goals scored and goals conceded as Senegal, but were shown only four yellow cards to the African side's six.

Yet they still progressed in second place on account of having fewer yellow cards than Senegal, who were level on points, goal difference and goals scored with Japan, after the Africans lost 1-0 to Colombia.

The final spot in the knockout round of the World Cup came down to what is known as "fair play."

Poland, which had already been eliminated, got its goal from defender Jan Bednarek in the 59th minute. He beat his marker at the far post and volleyed in a swerving free kick from Rafal Kurzawa.

Colombia advance to the next round as group winners following their 1-0 victory over Senegal.

Poland had an early chance to take the lead in the 32nd minute when Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima stopped a header from Kamil Grosicki.

The game petered out in the dying minutes in farcical circumstances with both Japan and Poland so happy with the result that they were content to let the Japanese play keep-ball in their own half.

So Japan goes through and next plays the victor of Group G on Monday, while Colombia will face the Group G runner-up Tuesday. "You have to be in contact with other players when you play football".

"We've worked a great deal, we're very committed and we want to be in the last 16".

Japan has reached the knockout round at the World Cup three times in the last five tournaments.