Japan advance on fair play points despite loss to Poland

Japan advance on fair play points despite loss to Poland

Japan advance on fair play points despite loss to Poland

With the tiebreaker, Colombia and Japan advanced to the round of 16 with Colombia winning Group H.

Finally at the hour mark, Poland were able to break the deadlock, with centre-back Jan Bednarek getting on the end of a long free kick and poking home an unlikely goal. "However, it was a very tough and risky situation", said Nishino.

Japan responded with Takashi Usami having a shot from an acute angle pushed away by Fabianski but the teams went into half time to a chorus of whistles, which appeared to be from the Poland fans.

The strike meant Colombia would win the group and Japan were ahead of Senegal despite identical points, goal difference and goals scored, because they had received fewer yellow cards. "I am not too happy about this, but I forced my players to do what I said". "I'm happy we are going to the next round". We did not go through with victory, but we just relied on the other match and I feel that it was slightly regrettable but I suppose at that point I didn't have any other plans.

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. Keisuke Honda has been involved in 7 of Japan's last 10 World Cup goals.

"We haven't qualified because of fair play".

More news: Japan rally twice to claim draw with Senegal

The game then petered out in the dying minutes in farcical circumstances with both sides, content with the result, idly rolling the ball around amid the fans' boos.

Japan lacked their usual fluency and Eiji Kawashami's superb sprawling save from Kamil Grosicki was the highlight of a dour first half, with goalline technology confirming the header did not cross the line.

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.

Nawalka said: 'After our first two matches we somehow had to deal with a lot of justified criticism and that is why it was clear the emotional level of this game was really high.

Adnan Januzaj curled in the victor six minutes after the restart, saving Belgium from finishing second behind England on fair play points.

In their only previous meeting with an Asian team in the World Cup, Poland lost 2-0 against South Korea in 2002.

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