The Teranga Lions of Senegal have exited the 2018 World Cup after a painful 1-0 defeat to Colombia; but it’s the manner of their exit which would definitely be more bizarre and painful than the loss.
Japan’s concurrent 1-0 loss to Poland means Senegal finish the group on 4 points, same as the Asians.
But with both sides having the same goal difference, goals scored, goals conceded and having drawn 2-2; they could not be separated by any other metric and the rules determined that their fair play records would thus decide who progresses.
Japan thus progressed having received four yellow cards to Senegal’s six.
Barcelona defender Yerry Mina scored the goal which separated the two sides on 74 minutes, heading in a corner.
Senegal’s exit means five out of five African nations have exited the World Cup at the first round stage, leaving none to qualify to the second round — an occurence which hadn’t happened since the 1986 world cup.