FIFA World Cup Disciplined Japan advances to round 16 2 hours ago

FIFA World Cup Disciplined Japan advances to round 16 2 hours ago

On an incredible final day in the group stage, Japan looked to be heading home after Jan Bednarek's 60th-minute opener for Poland in Volgograd.

Poland have secured a consolation 1-0 win over Japan to close out their World Cup campaign, but other results meant that Japan still advanced to the knockout rounds despite the loss.

Poland boss Adam Nawalka said his players proved a point by coming out to win despite defeats to Colombia and Senegal having already seen them exit the competition. Widely regarded as an unsatisfying way of deciding qualification, the farcical nature of Japan's willingness to do nothing at all, completely relying, as Nishino alluded to; "the other match".

The Blue Samurai were enjoying the most of the possession in the early stages, while Shinji Okazaki threatened the Poland goal in the opening 10 minutes.

With Japan finishing with the exact same tally as Senegal on all counts, it was ultimately their fair play record that earned them a spot in the Round of 16.

'I suppose it was a little bit regrettable but this is the World Cup and sometimes this happens, ' added Nishino. I forced my players to do what I said.

"The idea was to use players who were fresh and try to get a 0-0 draw". Japan had four yellow cards in its three group matches while Senegal had six.

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From a deep position, Rafal Kurzawa curled a free kick towards the back post and Bednarek was waiting to volley the ball inside the near post from six yards out for his first global goal.

Poland had to wait until the 32nd minute for a chance as Bartosz Bereszynski picked out Kamil Grosicki, who met the cross with a header that was palmed away by goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima.

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Then, with nine minutes remaining, Tomoaki Makino - in an attempt to intercept another unsafe cross by Grosicki - could only send the ball towards his own goal but Kawashima reacted well to make the save.

"After the first two games against Senegal and Colombia, our team had to deal with a lot of justified criticism so it was clear the emotional level of this game would be extremely high for the Polish team", he said.

Poland, for the third straight World Cup that it has competed in, lost its first two group matches and then won its third.

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