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WORLD CUP 2018: Colombia eliminate Senegal and top Group H

Colombia have claimed a crucial 1-0 win over Senegal to progress to the round of 16 as group winners.

What has become something of a trend for Russia 2018 is the deciding of group winners and runners up on the final matchday. Prior to the start of Group H's final matchday, Japan and Senegal were set to progress if the games ended in a draw.

Both sides needed a positive result in order to progress, but neither were willing to expose anything in this lacklustre affair.

Colombia's approach heavily favoured a possession based method, but it did little to show as the South Americans could only muster a single shot for the first-half.

On the other hand, Senegal were pushing the pace every chance they could, fearlessly taking on Colombia's defence and threatening more often.

Colombia's fans held their collective breath as James Rodriguez was substituted at the 30 minute mark, suggestions of a slight injury plague hampered the captain's influence.

A penalty shout for Senegal was spectacularly overturned by the VAR, as referee Mazic deemed Davinson Sanchez's tackle on Sadio Mane was legal. The challenge itself had pundits and fans divided, with some suggesting the foul took place before the ball was won.

This game was one that hinged on single moments, and if the VAR couldn't come to Senegal's rescue it would take something a little extra to get one past the opposite side.

The teams could hardly be separated, scores deadlocked at the half with neither looking likely to take the lead in a tightly contested midfield battle.

Despite the possession weighing in Colombia's favour, they seemed to be on the back foot for the match until they could find the breakthrough goal late on.

Barcelona defender Yerry Mina was unmarked on a set piece as he expertly nodded his side ahead in what seemed an impossible match to find a goal.

Merely 5 shots on target for the whole 90 minutes yielded a solitary goal, but it was enough for Colombia to edge ahead and steal the group win ahead of Senegal to progress.

Japan might have faced elimination if Colombia and Senegal drew, but that wasn't the case as the South Americans pulled off a spectacular miracle and secured their progress to the knockout stages.

Despite losing on the day, Senegal acquitted themselves admirably and should be proud of their efforts this campaign.



WORLD CUP - GROUP H

Senegal - 0

Colombia - 1 (Mina 74')

Samara Arena, Samara

About the author

Chris Sermeno

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