[Explainer] Understanding the fair play rule that eliminated Senegal from World Cup

Hope Soto
June 29, 2018

Colombia's thrilling 1-0 win over Senegal, combined with Japan's loss to Poland, means Los Cafeteros take Group H with six points, winning their final two matches.

Federation Internationale de Football Association added fair play record as an additional tiebreaker in October 2016. They did what they had to do, though fortune certainly lent a helping hand.

Poland has already been eliminated from the World Cup.

The events in Volgograd added to an unorthodox few weeks in the history of Japanese football. And I remember having a conversation with him a very long time ago and him telling me that they used to count corner kicks.

Firing coach Vahid Halilhodzic in April was a bold move, despite poor results and reports of a breakdown in trust and communication with players under the Bosnian.

Belgium's Martinez was delighted with the win, saying it was impossible to plan the ideal scenario as the World Cup unfolds. But it did not inspire.

"There were six changes to the starting lineup, and that must have had something to do with the motivation of the players who hadn't played yet, and the need to look at the players' physical condition in the heat", former Japan defender Koji Nakata wrote in Friday's Sports Nippon. "They're all going to support us and we know we can do it".

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It was playing with fire a little bit, because if Senegal had scored a late goal, Japan would be going home.

The Three Lions will top Group G if they beat Belgium, draw, or do not pick up more disciplinary points than their opponents in Kaliningrad. None of the teams had a red card. England is a young team, has a lot of harmony and you can tell they have a lot of faith in themselves.

Dier will potentially be facing Spurs buddies Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Mousa Dembele at the World Cup on Thursday, when England take on Belgium in their final Group G game.

Januzaj's superb second-half goal sent Belgium into a last 16 clash with Japan while England will now advance to a second round meeting with Colombia on Tuesday. Check. A favourable scenario?

Every day of the four days of these group finales we've had at least one dramatic finish and, once again, we did today involving Japan, Senegal and Colombia. Yuya Osaka had looked unsafe in attack but was left out, as was Inui.

Pekerman's side were largely second best for much of their match against Senegal and had to play 60 minutes without talisman James Rodriguez, who was substituted in the first half with an injury.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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