Senegal commitment explains fair play exit, says Cisse

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It's the first time since 1982 that no African team has advanced from the first round at the World Cup. Although Japan didn't technically break any rules, the way in which they quite deliberately made no attempt to change the result of the game didn't seem very "fair" for a team going through on the grounds of fair play.

When already-eliminated Poland stunned Japan 1-0 in Volgograd and Senegal suffered a 1-0 defeat, it left Japan and Senegal with the same points and the same goals difference.

Japan accumulated four yellow cards during the three group games, while Senegal accumulated six yellow cards.

With Colombia leading Senegal 1-0 in the group's other tie, defeat nevertheless wouldn't have been decisive for Japan.

The high-risk strategy could easily have gone wrong for Japan had Senegal equalised against Colombia in Samara.

Poland's Jan Bednarek scored the only goal of the match in the 59th minute.




M'Baye Niang was the only Senegal player cautioned in a decisive 1-0 defeat to Colombia in Samara, where Barcelona defender Yerry Mina headed the south Americans' victor on 77 minutes.

With two fewer yellow cards, Japan's tally was better than Senegal, and though Nishino acknowledged his regrets in his postmatch news conference about the manner of Japan's progression, he did not apologise for the game's lifeless conclusion.

Senegal's World Cup is over due to discipline assigned by various referees at what probably seemed like inconsequential moments through the group stage.

The final spot in the knockout round of the World Cup came down to what is known as "fair play." It is as rough a way as you can imagine being eliminated from the tournament, outside of a giving up a last-second goal.

"Fair Play points are one of the rules and these rules have been established in the tournament regulations; we have to respect that, " said Senegal coach Aliou Cisse after the match.

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