Colombia through as Senegal suffer yellow card heartache

Ross Houston
July 3, 2018

With Japan and Senegal posting an identical goal-difference and goal scored, the latter progressed via the Fair Play rule, having accumulated less yellow cards than the African nation.

Senegal had only needed a point in their final Group H game to reach the next round, but they will head home after missing out on the runners-spot to Japan because they had a worse disciplinary record.

But from a precarious position, Mina propelled Colombia to the top of the group when he rose highest at a corner as Senegal reshuffled following a substitution.

Senegal and Japan lead Group H with four points each. It was the first time in World Cup history that a team had been eliminated from the tournament because of the amount of yellow cards they had accrued. Senegal had five yellows, while Japan had just three, meaning Samurai Blue would live to fight another day and Senegal's World Cup run would come to an end.

Colombia's football association has said the players who faced Poland focused on "regenerative" work on Monday.

"Winning against Poland has put us back in the World Cup".

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse was gracious in defeat, saying: "It's the rules of the game".

Davinson Sanchez came to Colombia's rescue several times before the break, although the Tottenham Hotspur defender's first major contribution initially saw him concede a penalty to Senegal on 18 minutes.

It now remains to be seen whether Jose Peckerman changes his tactics when Colombia will have tougher challenges ahead, but one thing is for sure, it won't be an easy road for the South Americans.

Colombia also deserve huge credit for the way in which they responded to the loss of their talisman, James Rodriguez, who hobbled off in the 31st minute. They went on to lose 2-1 against Japan.

"We know we already have 15 million Senegalese behind us and now we have all the continent". The clash happened four years ago, serving as a preparation for Colombia ahead of their campaign at the World Cup in Brazil.

It was a risky game to play, though, as a Senegal goal would have once against eliminated Japan. The Colombians appeared that they had regained form with a 3-0 victory over Poland.

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