Japan booed off but reach last 16 despite Poland loss

Japan booed off but reach last 16 despite Poland loss

On Wednesday night, Brazil eased into the knockout stages after defeating Serbia 2-0, with superstar Neymar sparkling in a win which sets up a last-16 clash against Mexico.Paulinho put Brazil ahead with a superb dinked finish on 36 minutes before Neymar swung in a cross for Thiago Silva to head the Selecao's second goal with 22 minutes left in Moscow.

Senegal became the first team ever eliminated by a new tiebreaker - number of yellow cards.

The game petered out in the dying minutes in farcical circumstances with both Japan and Poland so happy with the result that they were content to let the Japanese play keep-ball in their own half. "I would like to play both of them because they will pose a fantastic challenge for us".

Colombia, which reached the quarterfinals four years ago in Brazil, finished atop its group and is the fourth South American team to advance. As a result, no African team advanced from the first round of the World Cup for the first time since 1982.

Colombia and Japan go on to face opponents from Group G - either England or Belgium, who play later Thursday.

It was a risky strategy for Japan - a second goal for Poland or a Senegal equaliser would have eliminated them - but it ultimately paid off.

Former Everton midfielder Leon Osman said on BBC Two: "That is embarrassing - the way the two teams went about the final 10 minutes is everything we do not want to see in a World Cup".

German FA say rowdy officials not at pitchside for next game
After the game, Durmaz faced a barrage of abuse on social media, including racist insults and death threats. The Swedes take on Mexico in Ekaterinburg, at the same time as Germany face South Korea in Kazan.

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. Poland ended the tournament with a victory. In two losses, Poland has only scored a single goal and the Bayern Munich striker is still trying to make an impact at the World Cup.

But Colombia's hopes appeared diminished when Rodriguez was replace by Luis Muriel because of an apparent injury in the 31st minute against Senegal. Teammate Radamel Falcao patted him on the back as Rodriguez walked slowly off the pitch with his head bowed and headed straight for the locker room.

Japan were holding on for the point they needed to secure progression for the World Cup knockout stages after a forgettable first half against Poland in Volgograd.

- Poland have won their first encounter against Japan after losing 5-0 in February 1996 and 2-0 in March 2002.

Japan lost 1-0 in a boring game with Poland on Thursday but still became the only Asian side to qualify for the World Cup's last 16 - and the first team ever to progress thanks to FIFA's new disciplinary tie-breaker rule.

While the Samurai Blue lost, the tiebreaker between them and Senegal went down to fair play points. Rafal Kurzawa lofted a great free-kick into the box, which was turned home by the outstretched foot of Bednarek which piled the pressure on Japan.

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