Senegal commitment explains fair play exit, says Cisse

29 June, 2018, 14:48 | Author: Felix Jensen
  • Thibaut Courtois

"When the ball was played forward there wasn't much support, and when they tried to attack down the wings there weren't many players waiting for the ball in the middle", former Japan striker Shoji Jo wrote in Friday's Sports Nippon.

Jan Bednarek scored the lone goal in a 1-0 win over Japan that wasn't enough to lift an otherwise hapless Poland team off the bottom of Group H.

Despite equaling Japan's points total, goal differential, total goals scored and having played to a 2-2 draw on Gameday 2, Senegal finishes behind the Asian nation on fair-play points, falling victim to a new Federation Internationale de Football Association rule.

The high-risk strategy could easily have gone wrong for Japan had Senegal equalised against Colombia in Samara.

If two or more teams are equal on the basis of the first step, as happened in the case of Senegal and Japan, then the ranking will be determined by applying to the group matches between the teams concerned using the following criteria.

"We realise that all the teams have very good things, excellent players".

The Senegal national team's coach, Aliou Cissé, too, is worthy of adoration. We have to respect that. We would have preferred to be eliminated in another way, it's a pity for us but this is how it works.

Mind, the Colombian hordes had little to cheer in the first half as Senegal controlled the pace and flow of the game.

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Colombia coach Jose Pekerman said he was "extremely concerned" for James Rodriguez after he limped off during their win over Senegal.

"In that regard we played very well and waited for the opportunity. when we saw the opportunity, we took it".

Victory for the lowlands country in the final group game on Thursday night could be a win for both sides, the Taoiseach said.

Both were assured of advancing in the 24-nation tournament.

Belgium now face Japan in Rostov-on-Don on Monday while England play Colombia in Moscow on Tuesday in the knockout phase.

Adnan Januzaj scored the game's only goal on this super individual effort in the 51st minute.

England rued a wasted opportunity by Marcus Rashford after 66 minutes, when he fired wide after finding himself one-on-one with Thibaut Courtois in the Belgian goal. Tied on every other criterion in second place in Group H, the Japanese advanced at the expense of the Senegalese due to the fact that they amassed -4 fair play points (calculated according to the number of yellow and red cards received) to the Africans' -6.

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