Senegal failed to qualify for the round of 16 after accumulating more yellow cards than Japan who shared identical statistics with the West Africans and a tie-breaker had to be used to separate both sides.
Senegal lost 1-0 to Colombia in their final Group H game played in Samara.
Both Senegal and Japan finished on four points in Group G with a win and draw each. Both nations also played out a 2-2 to tie them on head-to-head result. They also scored same number of goals (4) and conceded same (4). The last decider was fair play rule, and with Senegal accumulating six yellow cards, two more than Japan’s four yellow cards, meaning the Samurai warriors of Japan proceed to the round of 16.
Alou Cisse’s boys thought they had been awarded a penalty in the 16th minute but the referee, having initially awarded it, changed his initial decision after consulting VAR. Replays showed that Davidson Sanchez nudged the ball off Saido Mane with a last-ditch tackle in the penalty area before the Senegalese forward crumbled to the floor. The scrappy half ended with neither sides looking likely to win, but Senegal looked more lively.
Colombia, however, broke the deadlock on 74 minutes through Yeri Mina. The Barcelona defender heading Roman Quintero’s corner kick beyond N’Diaye for a goal that proved to be the winner.
Senegal tried valiantly but the Colombian defense, led by the impressive Davidson Sanchez of Tottenham kept them at arm’s length. The South Americans kept the ball late in the game and with substitutions, ran down the clock till the full-time whistle.
The loss, coupled with Japan’s 1-0 defeat to eliminated Poland in the other group game means the Teranga Lions of Senegal bow out of Russia 2018 based on fair play rules due to a worse disciplinary record than Japan.