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Russia 2018 : fair play rule sends Senegal packing

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A 1-0 victory on Thursday ensured Colombia to advance to World Cup knockout stage as Group H winners while Senegal were sent packing on fair play rule.

With a lone goal from defender Yerry Mina in the second half at the Samara Arena, the South American country secured a spot in the last 16.

Senegal earned four points, leveling with Japan who lost 1-0 to Poland in the other group match.

The result left Senegal eliminated because they received more yellow cards than Japan. The Teranga Lions became the first team that were knocked out by the fair play rule at the World Cup.

Colombia coach Jose Nestor Pekerman thought that the results reflected that Group H was “a very even group” and Senegal “had a very good tournament but went home”.

Colombia played a 4-2-3-1 formation in Thursday’s match and both sides did not create good chances in the first 10 minutes.

Radamel Falcao, Colombia forward, won a free kick in the 11th minute but Juan Quintero’s shot was saved by the Senegal goalkeeper.

In the 17th minute, Sadio Mane was brought down by Colombia defender Davinson Sanchez inside the box and Senegal were awarded a penalty. Following the VAR check, the referee reversed his decision and cancelled the penalty.

Colombia side made a replacement in the 30th minute, as James Rodriguez was forced off by injury. The Bayern Munich star made no attempts at the goal and only 10 passes.

During the last 15 minutes of the first half, Senegal launched fierce attacks and wasted a few chances.

Pekerman noted after the match that “there were some very worrying moments in the first half when Senegal played very well”, but the coach said Colombia “managed to defend successfully”.

Paces picked up in the second half, as Colombians emerged from the break with more attacking intents and broke the deadlock in the 74th minute with Mina’s goal.

Assisted by Juan Quintero with a cross following a corner, Mina made a header from the center of the box and scored.

Despite Senegal’s continuous attacks during the rest time of the match, they failed to level the score until the end.

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse told reporters that his team “did not deserve to qualify” based on their performance.

Regarding the way of elimination, Cisse said they had no choice but accepted it.

“Fair Play points are one of the rules and these rules have been established in the tournament regulations. We have to respect that. We would have preferred to be eliminated in another way but that’s the way it works and we knew that those were the regulations,” he said.

“I will continue to encourage them and to be with them because I think we can expect many more good things from them in the future,” he added.

After Senegal’s elimination, there will be no African team in the round of 16.

FIFA statistics showed that Colombia made 4 attempts at the goal throughout the match, while Senegal made 8. Ball possession was 57 percent for Colombia and 43 percent for Senegal.

In the last 16, Colombia will face England on July 3.




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