Japan advance despite loss to Poland

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Poland have been one of the most disappointing teams at the World Cup in Russian Federation and became the first European team to be eliminated from the competition following their 3-0 defeat to Colombia in their second match.

Nevertheless, Japan were unable to find an equaliser in the closing stages as Poland held on for the win.

Nishino can at least take heart from the fact that his key players will go into the last-16 game in Rostov-on-Don fresh and rested, even if the Belgians can say the same after making nine changes for their win over England.

Japan's Gotoku Sakai in action with Poland's Artur Jedrzejczyk and Jan Bednarek.

The second match saw the never give up attitude of the Japanese team as they twice clawed back from a goal down in each half to finish the match 2-2 against an impressive Senegalese side.

Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously had reported that Senegal have crashed out of the World Cup after suffering a 1-0 defeat against Colombia in Group H.

In the waning moments, Japan trailed 1-0, but because of what was happening in the other Group H game between Colombia and Senegal, a loss by a single goal was fine.

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Senegal and Japan both finished on four points having been handed their first defeats of the tournament Thursday, and with the same goal difference and number of goals scored. I forced my players to do what I said.

Poland who came close to scoring the game's second goal as Lewandowski spurned his only chance of the match so far, appearing to lose his footing somewhat as he fired over the bar from close range.

Nishino murmured his regrets in the post-match media conference about the manner of Japan's progression, but he is unlikely to be beating himself up about it too much.

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.

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.

Japan will go on to face the victor of the Belgium v England match in the Round of 16.

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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