On Thursday Senegal made history, and not the good kind. The last African nation eligible in the World Cup wasby picking up more cards than Japan during group stage, making them the first team to ever lose a tiebreaker due to the rule.
Senegalwhile Japan lost 1-0 to Poland, so Japan made it to the Round of 16 with four points and a tie with Senegal.
Senegal, as you can imagine, was gracious as ever in defeat and has no hard feelings towards FIFA for the rule.
A good portion of Twitter, as you can also imagine, shares no such sentiment. Some were amused. Some were bemused. Many were annoyed.
Fine lines Senegal loses out on yellow cards!— Sol Campbell (@SolManOfficial) June 28, 2018
I unironically think deciding Senegal and Japan's fate on xG is better than fair play points.— aaron (@ReDiCampania) June 28, 2018
However, there were those that took issue with the way Japan and Poland played, deeming "fair play" a bit of a misnomer given how their match ended.
Japan going through on Fair Play while engaging in what people consider to be against the spirit of the game is now my new favourite thing— BURNS (@TheSteveBurnio) June 28, 2018
The frustration was apparent everywhere, with Japan being more than content to kill time at the end of the match. However, as unfair as it appears, Japan now finds itself in the Round of 16.
It may be a bear of a bracket, but Japan earned its place by FIFA rules. What people think of the rules is up to them.