FIFA World Cup Disciplined Japan advances to round 16 2 hours ago

Adjust Comment Print

Poland who came close to scoring the game's second goal as Lewandowski spurned his only chance of the match so far, appearing to lose his footing somewhat as he fired over the bar from close range.

The end of Japan's game against Poland, however, has led to a rather severe backlash from football fans on social media.

But Senegal counterpart Aliou Cisse said his side did not "deserve" to advance to the knockout stage as they became the first team to be eliminated via their fair play ranking.

"My players were very loyal in listening to me and following my decision".

"I decided that I was going to rely on the other match's result".

Nishino is wary about the fierce heat in Volgograd, with the temperature at kick-off around 37 degrees Celsius (97 degrees Fahrenheit) and said he would choose his team based on who coped best with the cauldron-like conditions in training.

Poland had to wait until the 32nd minute for a chance as Bartosz Bereszynski picked out Kamil Grosicki, who met the cross with a header that was palmed away by goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima. Rafal Kurzawa swung a free kick to the back post where Jan Bednarek volleyed Poland ahead with just over 30 minutes remaining.

If Japan earns at least the point it needs against Poland, it will only be the second time that Japan has gone through the group stage undefeated, the other being when co-hosting in 2002 with South Korea.

It was not pretty, but Japan did what was necessary to survive at the World Cup.

Having already qualified for the round of 16, Belgium and England utilized their squad players in their final Group G encounter.

Their main man, striker Robert Lewandowski, powered in 16 goals during the qualifiers - but failed to score in Russian Federation, ending his miserable tournament with another spurned chance against Japan.

"It was for us more important for us to get into the next round than to win the match, " Japan midfielder Gotoku Sakai said.

Despite farcical scenes in which Japan moved the ball back and forth on halfway while a Polish player was down injured, it paid off as Senegal could not rescue a point, sending the fortunate Samurai Blue through.

Poland coach Adam Nawalka said his team proved they were not quitters by winning their first game at a World Cup since they beat Costa Rica in Germany in 2006.