James and Colombia in Round of 16
Next stop the Round of 16. Thanks to a 1-0 victory in the final game against Senegal, Colombia go through to the last 16 as group winners where the Cafeteros will face either England or Belgium in Moscow on Tuesday (20.00 CEST). The winner for qualification for the knockout rounds was scored by Yerry Mina on 74 minutes. The only bad news for the South Americans: Bayern pro James Rodriguez was substituted on 31 minutes due to injury – the extent of the problem remains to be confirmed.
The Cafeteros found it hard to make headway against a well organized Senegal team and scarcely created any goalscoring opportunities in the first half. The Colombians were fortunate on 17 minutes when referee Milorad Mazic awarded a penalty after tackle on Sadio Mané by Davidson Sanchez in the box. The decision was then receded after consulting the VAR.
Colombia applied more pressure in the second half and had clear chances to score through substitute Lewis Muriel (64') and Radamel Falcao (65'). Central defender Mina broke the deadlock on 74 minutes when he opened the scoring with a header from a corner. Senegal pressed forward in search of an equalizer but ended up failing to reach the Round of 16 due to the Fair Play table compared with Japan who were level on points and goals.
Lewandowski goes out with a win
The other match in Group H saw Poland sign off with a 1-0 victory over Japan. The team including Bundesliga top scorer Robert Lewandowski were already out of the running for a place in the knockout rounds before the match but were able to finish the World Cup with a positive result against the Asian team. The only goal of the game was scored by Jan Bednarek on 59 minutes. Bayern pro Lewandowski captained his country again and went the full distance in the match.