Japan lost to Poland 1-0 in its final match of the group stage, but thanks toand an uncommon World Cup tiebreaker rule, the Blue Samurai are through to the round of 16 as Group H's runner-up over the African nation.
In a crazy, unforeseen tiebreaker, Japan finished with four points just like Senegal. And because they had the same amount of points, goal differential, goals scored, goals conceded and drew each other, the tiebreaker went to FIFA Fair Play points, which means the team with the fewer infractions advances.
Japan received two fewer yellow cards (four) in the group stage, while Senegal had six yellow cards. As a result, Senegal heads home and Japan survives to play at least another game.
Jan Bednarek scored the lone goal for Poland as they end the tournament with three points and a consolation win over Japan.
Playing cleaner was the difference, and Japan will now face the winner of Group G, which will be either Belgium or England, in the round of 16 on Monday at 2 p.m. ET. You can stream every World Cup match in English or Spanish on fuboTV (Try for free).
Relive commentary from Thursday's Japan vs. Poland match
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