Japan advance despite loss to Poland

Japan advance despite loss to Poland

Japan advance despite loss to Poland

Unfortunately, that proved to be the final effort at goal from both sides in the half as Japan were happy to sit back, knowing a point will see them progress.

'This will not sweeten our losses or the results of those two matches, but we have to say we have accumulated a lot of experience at this World Cup and we have plans and ambitions and I think we will go forward'.

Japan and Senegal finished with the same number of points, the same goal difference and the same number of goals scored. I'm not too happy about this but I forced my players to do what I said.

Coach Nishino took a risk with his team selection ahead of the defeat to Poland, resting the four players to have scored for Japan at the tournament so far, including star man Takashi Inui.

Japan's time-wasting tactics at the World Cup have been widely condemned.

Japan manager Akira Nishino said it was an "ultimate decision" for making it to the next stage by going defensive and hanging on to the 1-0 deficit.

The Japanese played out goalless draw at halftime and were looking like they were heading for the exit doors. Japan had four yellow cards in its three group matches while Senegal had six.

"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. In 2002 and 2006, the team had also spurned their chances of qualification for the knockout rounds after two matches, but in both cases managed to win their final group-stage game. Scampering across his goal before diving, Kawashima clawed the ball to safety just before it had crossed the line.

So Japan goes through and next plays the victor of Group G on Monday, while Colombia will face the Group G runner-up Tuesday.

An utterly poor display by the Polish saw them beaten 3-0, with their talismanic striker Robert Lewandowski registering 0 goals in 2 World Cup matches, after scoring 16 goals in the World Cup Qualifiers.

In their only previous meeting with an Asian team in the World Cup, Poland lost 2-0 against South Korea in 2002. Yep, Senegal have been eliminated because they picked up more yellow cards that the Japanese.

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