Japan advances on yellow cards despite losing at World Cup

World Cup 2018 Japan vs Poland Preview Japan Dream Of Round Of 16 As They Face Eliminated Poland

The Japanese players slowed play down to nearly nothing, softly passing the ball back and forth in little triangles in their own end to waste time.

"It was a very tough decision, of course", Nishino said.

"I am really not happy about how we played today but.we wanted to go through to the round of 16 and we have, and that is the only salvation that I get".

"I chose to keep the status quo in our game, and rely instead on the other result".

The fans at the Volgograd Arena showed their displeasure by booing and whistling loudly during the final minutes.

After three minutes of injury time the referee finally brought an end to the embarrassment with Poland finishing 1-0 victors.

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With Japan now needing a goal to qualify for the next round Takashi Inui replaced Usami, but they should have fallen 2 behind when Lewandowski fired another Grosicki ball over in the 74th minute and the Hull City winger nearly forced Tomashi Makino to concede an own goal with another risky cross. Since Senegal had accumulated more yellow cards, they missed out as Japan went through as the first team to qualify for the knockout rounds in such a manner.

Everything seemed set for Japan to progress to the knockout stages - that is, until Jan Bednarek popped up completely unmarked to volley home from a free kick and put Poland in front.

When Bednarek scored, Japan was facing elimination.

Having opened his Russian Federation 2018 account with the second of Brazil's two late goals in Friday's 2-0 win over Costa Rica, Neymar was again impressive.After the tearful emotion of Saint Petersburg, Neymar cut a more joyful figure after this win, blowing kisses to the crowd as the five-time champions celebrated.

As the game continued, it barely got above walking pace. "We must go into the game with the aim of getting all three points and [focusing] our performance", Japan captain, Makoto Hasebe said.

Japan coach Akira Nishino made six changes to the starting lineup ahead of the match - all four of Japan's scorers in the previous two games were left on the bench.

Starting XI of Fifa World Cup 2018 Group F match
It wasn't the most exciting match, but in typical German fashion Die Mannschaft got the job done and progressed to the final. His goal was originally ruled offsides, but was overturned after a second look from the Virtual Assistant Referee (VAR).

In the first half, Yoshinori Muto's drive forced Lukasz Fabianski to send off, before the goalkeeper denied Gotoku Sakai effort.

His cleverly directed header looked destined for the bottom corner until Kawashima made up huge amounts of ground to claw it to safety with a big right hand at full stretch.

Their opponents will be decided later in the day in the Group G match between England and Belgium. As a result, no African team advanced from the first round of the World Cup for the first time since 1982. "It worked against us".

The Poles reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 and more had been expected after they had finished top of their World Cup qualifying group.

The current format of the World Cup, in many ways, encourages such boring matches in the final round of the groups.

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