It was the first time in World Cup history that two teams had been separated by the amount of yellow cards they had accrued in the tournament.
It meant that, as the full time whistles blew in Samara and Volgograd, Senegal were eliminated due to having accumulated two more yellow cards than Japan.
It was an emphatic reaffirmation of their potential after 10-man Colombia, quarter-finalists in Brazil four years ago, had suffered an upset defeat in their opening game to Japan.
He was tight-lipped about what team Argentine-born coach Jose Pekerman would field against Senegal.
Colombia play the runner-up from Group G, either England or Belgium, in Moscow on Tuesday with Japan facing the Group G winners the previous day in Rostov-on-Don.
Both Japan and Senegal had even goal differences and had scored four goals each, but Japan advanced as runners-up because they only picked up four yellow cards in the group stage, while Senegal had six.
The first flashpoint came soon after when Sanchez stretched in the box to thwart Mane, referee Milorad Mazic pointing to the spot but then overturning the decision when replays revealed a fine recovery tackle.
Desperate late Senegal attacks failed to yield a goal that would have kept them alive and as Colombia legend Carlos Valderrama celebrated, Mane and his team-mates were stunned.
Colombia's creativity is often directly linked to their star midfielder James Rodriguez, who was the standout performer at the 2014 World Cup.
But the atmosphere amongst the nearly 42,000 people at Samara Arena picked up near the hour mark when Poland scored to push both teams above Japan in the table. The referee originally gave Senegal the penalty kick, but the review went in Colombia's favour.
Senegal opened the tournament in Russian Federation with a 2-1 victory over Poland and followed that with a disappointing 2-2 draw against Japan.
Group H has featured some of the most surprising and exciting football of the 2018 World Cup thus far.