Japan vs. Poland World Cup score, recap: Japan advances over Senegal on FIFA Fair Play with fewer yellow cards

Japan lost to Poland 1-0 in its final match of the group stage, but thanks to Colombia's 1-0 win over Senegal and 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

If the live blog doesn't load properly, click here.

For news, stories, results and more, follow us:

- @CBSSportsSoccer - @RGonzalezCBS - Facebook

CBS Sports Writer

Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Goal.com... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories