FIFA World Cup 2018 : Japan through to the round of 16 despite loss through fair play rules.

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Poland beat Japan 1-0 to bow out on a high as the game’s only goal came from Poland’s Jan Bednarek in the second half which ensured Poland do not go out without any points on board. There were some moments in the first half were goalkeepers produced sublime saves to keep the score 0-0 at half time. Both Eiji Kawashima and Lukasz Fabianski pulled out saves with each save getting the better of the other. Although Poland held possession for the majority of the first half, they never looked as threatening as they were on the counter. However Japan defended well and made an attack here and there. Leicester’s Shinji Okasaki covered every blade of grass as he was full of running and almost scored for the Blue samurai. Okasaki seemed to have exhausted his engine as he was substituted just two minutes into the second half by Yuya Osako.

But it was yet another disappointing display from Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski who exits the tournament with 0 goals and assists. Come the second half, Japan started attacking more and started to look dangerous. Poland’s Jan Bednarek scored to give Poland first ever lead in the tournament.

After conceding the goal, Japan went on the defensive and play a much more passive approach. Poland head home with a bitter face and a forgetful tournament while Japan are on course to the next round by virtue of FIFA’s fair play rules where they will face either England or Belgium. Japan qualify ahead of Senegal, who lost 1-0 to Colombia earlier today, as a result of a better disciplinary record having picked up lesser number of yellow cards than Senegal.

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