Jan Bednarek ensures victory for Poland, but Japan still reach last 16

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

Both teams now they will face one of Colombia or Japan in the last 16, with the Group G winners facing Japan and the runners up playing against Colombia.

"The situation forced me to make this decision".

"I'm sure Poland would like to play for their pride and Lewandowski is a world class marksman, and every time he comes out he wants to score", said Nishino.

Nishino made six changes to the starting lineup ahead of the match, saying some of his players were worn out.

Lewandowski had a great chance to put Poland two-up in the 71st minute, but his sliding attempt went wide. We did not go through with victory, but we just relied on the other match and I feel that it was slightly regrettable but I suppose at that point I didn't have any other plans.

Remarkably, Japan then made a decision to play out the remainder of the contest by stroking the ball around inside their own half despite trailing on the scoreboard, although it was ultimately enough as they were given a helping hand by the Colombians.

Both Japan and Senegal finished the group phase with four points, had the same goal difference and the same amount of goals scored.

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Among the Premier League stars on the national team rosters for this match are four of last season's top six goal scorers - England captainHarry Kane (Tottenham, second with 30 goals) and compatriots Jamie Vardy (Leicester City, fourth with 20 goals), and Raheem Sterling(Manchester City, fifth with 18 goals), and Belgium's Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United, sixth with 16 goals).

After a quiet start to the half, Poland broke the deadlock on 60 minutes as Jan Bednarek turned home Rafal Kurzawa's free-kick.

Goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima keeps his place despite a howler for Senegal's first goal in the 2-2 draw and will captain the side.

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. 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 right hand at full stretch.

Japan will need to play its best game of the tournament to reach the Round of 16.

With Japan and Senegal having drawn 2-2, the sides were split in a World Cup first by FIFA's new tie-breaking "fair play" regulation, which compared the sides' disciplinary records across their three group matches.

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