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

Senegal, who were actually leading group H at one point during their game, exit the World Cup based on picking up more yellow cards than Japan.

After the game, Pekerman told reporters he was anxious about the condition of the 26-year-old, who spent last season on loan at Bayern Munich from Real Madrid, while also attempting to play down the situation given Colombia's qualification for the last 16. "We didn't qualify because we've earned more yellow cards, but I'm proud of my lads, they've worked hard for this tournament and I think we've showed we can have a bright future".

"My decision was to rely on the other match", Japan coach Akira Nishino said.

The two less yellow cards received by the Japanese compared to Senegal was enough to send the Asian side into the round of 16 after both sides finished deadlocked in the final Group H standings.

M'Baye Niang was the only Senegal player cautioned in a decisive 1-0 defeat to Colombia in Samara, where Barcelona defender Yerry Mina headed the south Americans' victor on 77 minutes. Starting at this year's tournament, disciplinary records - known as fair play - were added by Federation Internationale de Football Association as a tiebreaker.

Jan Bednarek got the solitary goal of the match in the 59th minute when he beat his marker at the far post to volley in a swirling free-kick from Rafal Kurzawa.

They could not, and so bow out of the tournament, meaning there is no African nation in the knockouts of a World Cup for the first time in 36 years.

In Group G, England and Belgium, who have both won their two opening games and have exactly the same goal difference, will go head to head in their final group stage match. "You have to be in contact with other players when you play football".

It's the first time since 1982 that no African team has made it through to the knockout stage.


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